Eban: Israel Has No Intention of Negotiating with the Palestinians

Foreign Minister Abba Eban made it clear today that Israel has no intention of negotiating with the Palestinians and that it considers the Kingdom of Jordan and a Palestinian state to be synonymous.

Addressing the Knesset in reply to a motion by the New Communist Party on the rights of Palestinian Arabs, Eban said that the problem of the Palestinians will be solved in the process of negotiations between Israel and the neighboring Arab. states aimed at fixing borders and establishing peace.

He said it was the absence of peace that prevented the Palestinians from defining their aims and their problems. According to Eban, Jordan has always had a Palestinian majority and most of the Palestinians live in Jordan. Geography, history and basic cultural and national facts have always created a congruency, though not a total identity between the Palestinian complex and the Jordanian complex, Eban said.

NO FACTOR FOR THIRD STATE

He added that no international factor or serious Arab viewpoint suggested that a Palestinian state be created in addition to Jordan and Israel. The idea of a third state was always used to eliminate one of the existing states in the region, Eban said. He noted that President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia recently termed Jordan an “artificial entity” and suggested that King Hussein step down in favor of a Palestinian Jordan.

(Bourguiba’s remarks were cited as the principal reason why Jordan broke diplomatic relations with Tunisia yesterday. According to Amman radio, the decision was made 24 hours after the Jordanian Ambassador in Tunis was recalled following a stormy meeting with Bourguiba. Tunis radio reported that Bourguiba had rejected a Jordanian request for an explanation of his statements.)

Meir Wilner of the New Communist Party observed that the United Nations decision of Nov. 29, 1947 which set up the State of Israel provided for the creation of two democratic states, one for Jews and one for Arabs, who each merited self-determination and independence. He claimed that it was ridiculous, racist and barbaric to deny that the Palestinians constituted a nation.

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