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Dayan Says Begin Governmentis Pled Ged to Annex West Bank, Gaza

Former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan has charged that Premier Menachem Begin’s government is pledged to annex the west Bank and Gaza Strip after the five year autonomy period, a course that he could not countenance and which led to his resignation from the Cabinet last week. Speaking on a radio interview Friday night, Dayan implied the existence of an unpublished government decision to that effect.

Cabinet Secretary Arye Naor told reporters after today’s Cabinet meeting that Dayan was “mistaken” with respect to the government’s intentions. Dayan said he would not favor annexation even if it was politically feasible which, in his view, it was not. But, he said, Herut and “The National Religious Party of today” basically favored the annexationist approach.

According to one source, the unpublished government decision hinted of by Dayan was in fact an abrogation by the government of an earlier decision to leave the sovereignty issue open. Interior Minister Yosef Burg, who heads the Israeli negotiating team in the autonomy talks, responded in London with a denial. “I have never heard of any such plan, “he told reporters there.”

Dayan also rejected the Labor Party’s territorial compromise approach based on a settlement with Jordan. He quoted former Foreign Minister Abba Eban as saying it was “offering something we don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it.” According to Dayan, “the best solution …the only solution … (is) living together …” But he did not explain what this would mean in practical terms.

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