JERUSALEM (Sep. 4)
National Religious Party leader Yehuda Ben-Meir said today that Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan had overstepped the limitations of his official functions by meeting in secret last night with a West Bank Communist leader Dr. Ahmed Hamaz Natcha, in Hebron. Implying that Dayan had misused his authority, Ben-Meir emphatically stated that he felt sure Premier Menachem Begin had no prior knowledge of the meeting.
Natcha, who was deported for incitement against the military authorities in March 1976 shortly before the municipal elections, was permitted to return to. Hebron two years later after spending the intervening years as a hospital administrator in Jordan.
Some nine months ago he was barred from participating in a press conference organized by the new Communist-backed “Committee for a Just Peace Between Israel and Arab Countries.” While the Communists have denied that they plan to run on separate lists in the forthcoming elections next April, Natcha’s name figures prominently among potential candidates for the Communist Party.
The Foreign Ministry said today that the Dayan-Natcha meeting took place at the initiative of Gen. Danny Matt, the coordinator of activities on the West Bank. Matt also participated in the meeting, it was reported.
Yesterday’s meeting following last week’s controversial meeting between Dayan and Palestine Liberation Organization supporter Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi in the Gaza Strip, has led some observers to believe that Dayan is putting out feelers among prominent West Bank and Gaza. Strip personalities for the ongoing autonomy talks. Informed military sources say that any visits made by Dayan to the West Bank have been agreed to in principle: by Defense Minister Ezer Weizman.