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Eban Says Gaza Strip to Remain with Israel but in Peace Accord Port Might Be Shared with Jordan

Foreign Minister Abba Eban declared here that the Gaza Strip would not be separated from Israel but that in a peace agreement, it might be possible for Israel to share the Strip’s port with Jordan. Addressing the Economic Club of Kiryat Gat Thursday night, Eban said that there was no deal between Israel and Jordan on the future of the Strip, which he said would be decided on In an overall Israeli-Arab settlement. Noting that the Strip has never been part of Egypt’s Nile Valley, Eban called the Egyptian presence in the Strip between 1948 and 1967 “artificial.”

Touching on the question of permanent borders, Eban said there would have to be changes in the Raffah area, south of the Strip, and that the north Sinai highway, “the classic invasion route” into Israel, could not be returned to the Egyptians. He also denied news reports that the Sept. 5 massacre of 11 Israeli sportsmen by Arab killers in Munich had prevented a planned meeting between Israeli and Egyptian representatives on possible peace negotiations. He said if Egypt had been interested in such a meeting, its leaders would not have “lavished praise” on the terrorists who carried out the Munich murders.