JERUSALEM (Dec. 11)
There is no reason to believe war will resume in the next few months Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the Knesset tonight in summing up during a foreign policy debate. When the transition to peace is achieved, this will mean progress and not withdrawal, he stated. Holding on to the new territories may be a necessity, but it is not Israel’s ultimate goal, he asserted, pointing out that the problem is not the territories, but their population.
Mr. Eban stressed that the dialogue with France is continuing, but he said that whoever sends arms to Iraq bolsters the strength of the forces aligned against Israel. Iraq has 20,000 soldiers near the cease fire line inside Jordan, he said, and Iraqi officers train saboteurs who are infiltrating Israel. The foreign minister also said that a fruitful relationship with the United States is continuing. He expressed the hope there would be continuing personal contacts between Prime Minister Eshkol and President Johnson (this was an allusion to Mr. Eshkol’s forthcoming visit to the United States in February, which had not been announced when Mr. Eban spoke).
All parties except the Communists and two splinter groups voted approval of Mr. Eban’s statement. Four Communists voted against the Government and the right wing Free Center abstained. The Communists demanded inclusion and approval of the U.N. Security Council resolution, while the Free Center asked for immediate annexation and the settlement of occupied territories.