LONDON (Apr. 27)
A leader of the Gahal opposition party said here last night that his faction might return to Premier Golda Meir’s coalition if her government renounced the Jarring talks and insisted on direct negotiations for a peace treaty. Haim Landau, of Gahal’s militant Herut wing conceded that there was no chance of this happening as yet. But he claimed that recent public opinion polls “show that we are gaining political ground in the country all the time.” Landau, a member of the Knesset’s foreign affairs and security committee held a press conference during which he expounded his views on various aspects of the Middle East situation. He insisted that any pull-back by Israel from the Suez Canal would make an Egyptian attack inevitable. He said his party did not oppose reopening of the waterway, but only if the cease-fire remains in force for an unlimited period and the Israel Army remains in its present positions. He suggested a mixed Israeli-Egyptian commission to supervise arrangements for dredging and reopening the canal but insisted that Israel agree to nothing unless it is guaranteed free passage for its shipping once the international waterway is back in use.