JERUSALEM (Apr. 18)
Official circles here detected today a slight softening in the Egyptian attitude toward the mission of United Nations special envoy Dr. Gunnar Jarring which a Cairo spokesman described only yesterday as having made “zero” progress.
The change was noted, they said, after Ambassador Jarring’s visit to Cairo yesterday when the Egyptians, for the first time in weeks, did not repeat their contention that his mission had failed completely. While Egyptian spokesmen reiterated their demand that Israel implement the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution — meaning Israel’s unconditional withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, they did not say again that Cairo would break off talks with Dr. Jarring and bring the Middle East question up at next week’s session of the U.N. General Assembly, these circles pointed out. It was believed here today that the Soviet Union does not favor raising the matter at the General Assembly for fear of another diplomatic setback. Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Riad, is in Moscow to clarify the Soviet stand.
It was also believed here that no country will make an overt move to end the Jarring mission as long as Dr. Jarring himself considers it unconcluded.
Two Israeli cabinet ministers meanwhile, declared today that the settlement of what they called “greater Israel” — the occupied Arab territories — was no less urgent or important than the colonization of the Beisan and Jordan Valleys was during the days of the Palestine Mandate.
Labor Minister Yigal Allon and Minister of Information Israel Galilee spoke at the Kibbutz Meuchad movement conference being held at Maoz Chaim, the Beisan Valley settlement that has been a frequent target of Jordanian shelling. Gen. Allon said that even if Jordan’s King Hussein was in jeopardy, Israel would not be prevented from defending itself and its population, adding that “Israel will not be used as a figure in an international chess game.” The Labor Minister was understood to be referring to warnings from certain friendly countries abroad that continued reprisal raids by Israel against terrorist bases in Jordan might topple Hussein’s throne and bring about a much more radical regime in Amman.