JERUSALEM (Mar. 11)
Deputy Premier Yigal Allon is planning to suggest that Israel seek a separate peace settlement with Jordanian King Hussein when the Labor Party resumes its debate on the future of the administered territories, it was reported today. Allon’s purported intentions were reported in the newspaper Haaretz.
Allon has apparently been talking to his close friends privately about raising such a proposal. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the chances of getting a settlement with Jordan are far better than of securing an arrangement with Egypt. Moreover, he thinks that Israel should exploit any opportunity of denting Arab opposition to negotiations, Haaretz said. Allon was said to feel that Palestinian representatives on the West Bank are more receptive to a peace arrangement with Israel. Were Israel to forge a settlement with Jordan these representatives would be inclined to subscribe to it Allon believes.
Allon’s suggestion has apparently been given impetus by the recent expressions of support for the Allon Plan given by Hussein. Specifically, the Jordanian monarch was reported to agree with that part of the Allon Plan calling for the stationing of Israeli troops along the Jordan River. Despite this, Hussein still feels strongly that the Israelis must turn over some sovereignty of Jerusalem to the Arabs.
Allon is said to be willing to discuss a partial withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territories. But at this stage he is not ready to discuss the question of Jerusalem. On his visit to the U.S. in Dec. the Deputy Premier is known to have raised the question of a separate peace agreement with Jordan. But Allon and U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers agreed that Israel could do little on its part and the initiative must come from Hussein.