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French Language Daily in Canada, Usually Anti-israel, Critical of El Fatah

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Le Devoir, an influential French-language daily that is generally considered anti-Israel, said today that “in order to restore peace in the Middle East, it is absolutely necessary that the Arab countries accept the existence of Israel and respect its integrity in a territory to be determined.” The long article on the Middle East conflict was signed by Paul Sauriol. editor-in-chief of the center-right paper.

Mr. Sauriol referred to a statement by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp in Tel Aviv last November that affirmed Israel’s right to exist and live in security. “This seems an incontestable truth,” Mr. Sauriol said. He called El Fatah’s demand for a binational state “unacceptable, because this would ultimately mean the destruction of Israel as a state.” He said that with the help of the Arab countries the Palestinian guerrillas can “continue for an indefinite period of time…no matter how serious the damage inflicted by Israel.” Mr. Sauriol charged that the Big Four were responsible for the explosive situation in the region, and he called for them to take strong steps for its pacification.

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