JERUSALEM (Jun. 19)
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan indicated in a talk here last night that he believed the security of Israel must be the primary consideration in any peace negotiations with the Arab states and in definition of future boundaries. Gen. Dayan rejected the so-called Allon plan for the creation of an Arab enclave on the West Bank and strongly implied that for reasons of security. Israel would have to retain military control of most of the Arab territories occupied in last June’s war. The Defense Minister spoke on security matters to members of the Israel Labor Party faction in the Knesset (Parliament). He gave what observers agreed was the most detailed public statement of his views to date on policies Israel should follow in any future peace talks with the Arabs. His over-riding opinion was that there are many avenues to peace and that Israel should foreclose none of them and keep its options open for bargaining purposes with the Arabs.
Gen. Dayan’s rejection of the plan proposed by Labor Minister Yigal Allon, which he had seemed to favor according to earlier reports, was seen here as much a domestic political ploy as a difference of opinion on a security matter between two men who both held high rank in Israel’s armed forces. Gen. Allon, whom Prime Minister Levi Eshkol proposed last week to raise to the rank of deputy prime minister in charge of immigrant absorption, called for Israel’s retention of a strip of flatland in the sparsely populated Jordan Valley as the site of a string of para-military security settlements facing the East Bank, Heavily populated Arab centers in the mountainous hinterland would become an Arab enclave, either autonomous or linked to Jordan by a corridor through the security zone. Press reports yesterday said the plan was favored by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and by Gen, Dayan. But today the Defense Minister dismissed it as, at best, a means of exploring peace possibilities with King Hussein of Jordan. He said it would be “the surprise of my life” if Hussein agreed to such a plan and, in any event, he himself would oppose it if it ever came before the Cabinet for approval. Gen. Dayan said he considered the whole sector of land between the Jordan River and the sea as one entity. “I regard the River Jordan as our eastern border and the hilltops west of it as essential bases to safeguard our border,” he declared, He said he did not think Hussein would enter into separate peace negotiations with Israel unless Egypt agrees.
Gen. Dayan said that Israel will have to settle the Syrian Golan Heights and settle the Jordan Valley as a national venture. He also said that he regarded Sharm el Shiekh, commanding the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba as a permanent base for Israel. “And we shall always be present in an appropriate place to prevent the Egyptian Army from moving across the Suez Canal,” he added.
Concerning relations with the Arab population of the West Bank, Gen. Dayan suggested that some non-political, non-written agreement be reached to give the local Arabs as much freedom as possible in their own administrative matters, though not as a separate Palestinian state. He also proposed that the Western Wall area in East Jerusalem become the property of the Israel Government’s department of Antiquities. “There is no logic,” he said, “in leaving it the property of the Waqf (the Moslem religious holdings body). It was not Islam that erected it but Herod.”
SYRIA, JORDAN ATTACK ISRAEL IN LETTERS TO UN SECRETARY-GENERAL
(At the United Nations, Israel was attacked in separate letters addressed yesterday to Secretary-General U Thant by Syria and Jordan. Both nations asked that the letters be circulated as Security Council and General Assembly documents. Syrian Ambassador George J. Tomeh’s letter alleged that “the systematic policy of colonization” in “Syrian-Arab occupied territories is continuing with increased pace and intensity.” He asserted that “beyond the 115,000 Arab expelled from their homes” after the June, 1967 war, “additional numbers of Syrians who had remained in the occupied territories are being pressured to leave.” He said Israeli authorities are extracting from them “under duress,” declarations that they were leaving of their own “free will.” Mr. Tomeh said this alleged situation makes more “imperative” each day the “need” to send a special envoy of Mr. Thant to investigate the refugee situation. Mr. Thant said yesterday that he hoped to discuss such an envoy with the Security Council in a few days.
(Muhammad H. el-Farra, Jordan’s Ambassador, submitted a copy of an article by pro-Arab reporter Michael Adams of the Manchester Guardian, published in London, which purports to be evidence “that the demolition of villages and expropriation of property in villages and towns in the areas occupied …since (the Six Day War) are part of a systematic plan to eradicate the Arab character of certain areas as a prelude to the establishment of Israeli settlements and further Israeli annexation.” UN special Middle East peace envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring intends to go on a one-month vacation next week, it was reported. Mr. Thant said yesterday that he expected to submit Dr. Jarring’s report on his mission to the Security Council before the end of July.)