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Knesset Approves Begin Plan by 64-8

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Premier Menachem Begin’s peace plan won the endorsement of the Knesset today by an overwhelming 64-8 vote after a day-long debate. There were 40 abstentions, most of them members of the Labor Party. Opposition leader Shimon Peres had said earlier that the Labor Party. advised its members to abstain, but left the final decision to each MK. Peres himself found things to both praise and to attack in Begin’s plan.

During the debate on the plan, Begin disclosed that he almost walked out on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat twice during their talks in Ismailia, once when Sadat asked for a commitment for a complete Israeli withdrawal, and the second time when Sadat urged a declaration suggesting that Israel was ready to accept a Palestinian state.

Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said that the Israeli army would be used if necessary to enforce the self-government provisions of the Begin proposal on the West Bank and Gaza. As an example, he said, the army might be used to prevent undue immigration of Palestinians from abroad into these areas.

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