LONDON (Jul. 1)
Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin declared here that Israel does not want to occupy Lebanese territory or to change its borders with Lebanon. “But we must protect our citizens and our property along our northern borders,” he told a press conference before leaving London. “We shall not hesitate to continue to do so,” he said. Earlier at a breakfast meeting with leaders of the Anglo-Jewish community, Rabin stressed that the Israelis living along the northern border will never abandon their settlements despite terrorist attacks.
Rabin, making his first appearance outside of Israel since becoming Prime Minister, was in England for a meeting of Socialist Party leaders at the British Prime Minister’s country home, Chequers. He stressed to reporters there yesterday that Israel was trying to deal with the terrorists by sealing off its borders, tracking down the murderers and trying to induce Lebanon to control the terrorists as other Arab states have done.
(The Palestinian terrorist leadership in Beirut said today they would halt any attacks against Israel which might provoke Israeli retaliation against Lebanon but vowed to step up operations planned and carried out from inside Israel, according to reports from the Lebanese capital. Diplomatic sources in Beirut said Lebanon would ask other Arab states to boycott the Geneva Mideast peace conference if Israel continues its attacks. According to the sources, the request will be made at a meeting of Arab League foreign and defense ministers in Cairo Wednesday. They said Lebanese Premier Takieddin al-Solh would also ask the Arab states to put pressure on the U.S. to curb Israel.)
During the Socialist leaders meeting, the Middle East debate took 90 minutes of a seven-hour session. According to the sources, Rabin outlined the Israeli position and Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky reported on the committee that he led on a tour of the Middle East in May. Kreisky urged cooperation between the Socialist International and Socialist Parties in Arab countries. Dom Mintoff, Prime Minister of Malta, said the Palestinians should not be ignored. Rabin replied that no one wants to ignore the Palestinians but the key factor in achieving peace in the Middle East was Egypt.