JERUSALEM (Mar. 29)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan stressed the importance today of the U. S.-Israeli memorandum of understanding which he signed with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in Washington Monday in which the U. S. under took to supervise implementation of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty during the next three years. It is the first written document that specifically mentions the strengthening of the U. S. presence in the region, Dayan told a meeting of foreign diplomats here. (See related story from Washington P-3.)
Dayan said that while it will not extend beyond three years, it is important that the U. S. has agreed to serve as the address to which Israel could refer in the event the Egyptians violate the peace treaty terms. He did not refer directly to the angry complaint lodged formally by Egypt with the U. S., protesting that the memorandum could be construed as an “eventual alliance” between the U. S. and Israel.
He noted, however, that the Americans are now “in the same boat” with Egypt and Israel, which will be navigating stormy waters in the months ahead when the two countries negotiate over autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Dayan said the II-member ministerial committee headed by Premier Menachem Begin will complete its autonomy proposals within two weeks and negotiations with Egypt could begin two weeks after that in accordance with the treaty terms. He said initial talks between the two countries were begun in Washington but no decisions were made so far. He said the negotiating site will rotate between El Arish in northern Sinai and Beersheba.
EXPLAINS GESTURES TOWARD EGYPT
Dayan, who returned from the U. S. yesterday explained the good-will gestures Israel has pledged to Egypt in order to improve the climate for the autonomy negotiations. But in his remarks to reporters at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday and in his presentation today, he sought to allay fears on the part of many Israelis that these gestures were “one-sided” and go too far. He said several of the gestures merely reaffirm the situation that exists today, namely that the populations of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are free to move to and from Israel and abroad. This will continue, he said.
He said the permission granted for political activity by West Bank and Gaza residents did not apply to incitement against Israel but only to peaceful expressions of political views through newspapers and periodicals. Dayan said that meetings of a political nature would be permitted but only with prior permission of the Israeli authorities.
The Foreign Minister stated that the transfer of the Military Government headquarters from the town of Gaza to a less populated area would not in any way curtail the authority or affect the activity of the Military Government. It is only a matter of relocation which in many ways is better for Israel, he said.
Dayan explained that the new laws pertaining to administrative detention were approved before Israel undertook its gestures: It is not eliminated entirely but subject to approval by the president of a district court. Up to now, administrative detention was not subject to judicial approval.
As for Israel’s agreement to release some political prisoners, Dayan said it applied only to a small number of prisoners not yet sentenced. He said the reunification of West Bank and Gaza families with relatives who left those territories in 1967 is nothing new and has been going on for years. Dayan hinted that Egypt could play an important role in furthering the resumption of diplomatic ties between Israel and the several African states that broke off relations, after the Yom Kippur War.