JERUSALEM (Feb. 9)
Consultations are taking place here over the possibility of changing Israel’s reply to the Feb. 8, 1971 side memoire of United Nations mediator Gunnar V. Jarring, it was learned from reliable sources today. The consultations stem from a request received from President Leopold Senghor of Senegal asking Israel to modify its position.
The Jarring memo asked Israel for a commitment to withdraw to its old international borders as they existed before the June, 1967 Six-Day War. Israel replied flatly that there could be no return to the old boundaries but stated that it would not annex Arab territories.
Senghor is believed to have asked Israel to reiterate the no annexation undertaking but to omit the qualification which followed in its reply to Dr. Jarring. In its reply Israel stated that it would ask for a revision of boundaries within the context of a peace treaty that would conform to its security demands. Annexation is understood to be a unilateral act while Israel said it would ask for agreed changes in territorial status, intimating a bi-lateral agreement.
The Jarring mission has been stalled since Israel’s rejection of a withdrawal commitment. Israel has since been asked by Jarring, among others, to adopt a compromise position between his demand and Israel’s flat rejection of it but has so far refused. President Senghor’s proposal now under consideration, would represent a shift to middle ground by Israel.