Eban Favors Giving Up Settlements in Sinai

Abba Eban, Israel’s former Foreign Minister and a Labor Party member of the Knesset, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that he favors Israel’s relinquishment of its settlements in Sinai within the framework of a peace treaty with Egypt. He said he will use his influence with his Labor colleagues in the Knesset to take the same position.

Eban will cut short his stay in the U.S. to return to Jerusalem Thursday night for the Knesset debate on the settlements issue. A parliamentary decision must be rendered by Oct. I in accordance with the Camp David agreements signed Sunday night by Premier Menachem Begin of Israel, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and President Carter as witness.

The fate of the Sinai settlements was one issue on which no agreement was reached at Camp David. Sadat insisted that their removal was a prerequisite of a peace treaty with Israel. Begin maintained that the issue should be resolved in the course of negotiations for a treaty but agreed that the Knesset would decide within two weeks of the signing of the Camp David documents.

Eban told the JTA that he spoke to Begin last night and to Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan who wanted the Labor opposition to have “full details” of the agreements. He is returning to Israel for that purpose. Eban has been in the U.S. at the invitation of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University to spend several weeks there preparing his next book.

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