Israel Studying Decisions of Rabat Summit Before Deciding on Official Policy Position

Premier Yitzhak Rabin said today that while the news from Rabat “did not look good,” his government wanted to study the texts and documents of the decisions taken at the Arab summit conference before committing itself to an official position or to any reappraisals of policy that may be called for. His remarks in the Knesset today were his first public comment on the Rabat declaration recognizing the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

(See separate analysts of Rabat summit.) Some observers suggested that what the Premier left unsaid was that Israel wants to consult closely with the United States before making new mores or new statements in the wake of the developments in Rabat. U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Keating met here last night with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon for what was said to be an initial assessment of the situation.

At a festive meeting in honor of the new president of the Israel-America Society, Jewish Agency Treasurer Leon Dulzin, who took over from the outgoing president, Dr. George S. Wise, Keating assured the Israelis of America’s determination to continue with its sober and responsible policy regarding the Mideast. He said that the most important lesson of the Yom Kippur War was the uselessness of another war. “A renewed war would serve no one’s interest,” Keating said. “The Arabs cannot destroy Israel and Israel cannot destroy the Arabs There is only one way that of a sober, realistic and responsible way which the American Administration is following.”

ARAB SUMMIT ADOPTED PLO VIEWPOINT

Defense Minister Shimon Peres, addressing Hebrew University students today, noted that the Arab summit had adopted essentially the PLO viewpoint and thus “in effect issued a verdict temporarily, I hope–on the most delicate issue at present standing between Israel and the Arabs –the future of the West Bank.” Peres acknowledged that there were differences among Israelis on that question.

“Among us there are those who seek territorial compromise and who are ready to return parts of the West Bank –never Jerusalem– and others who propose a functional partition.” Peres said. He described the latter as a plan whereby the Israeli army would retain the strategic highlands on the West Bank for security purposes while the local Arab inhabitants would decide on an indigenous autonomous government.

But “the PLO proposes neither a territorial nor a functional partition.” Peres said. “What they propose is that all Jews who came to the country before 1917 can stay and all those who came after 1917 must leave,” he said.

Meanwhile reports from Beirut today said that four extremist terrorist groups have renounced the Rabat decision recognizing the PLO. The groups are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headed by George Habash; the Iraqi-backed Arab Liberation Front; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command: and the Popular Struggle Front. These groups reject any negotiations with Israel and say they will agree only to a secular Palestinian state embracing the pre-1948 borders.

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