JERUSALEM (Mar. 4)
The Cabinet today angrily rejected the United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and Jerusalem and expressed “deep resentment” that the United States had voted for it. A government statement issued, after the meeting categorically rejected the resolution’s call for dismantling settlements in the territories and Jerusalem.
Claiming that Jewish settlements in the territories were on inalienable right, the statement declared that there was no difference whatsoever among the residential quarters of Jerusalem, that the city was one, under Israeli sovereignty and “the eternal capital of the State.” The Security Council resolution was termed “repugnant” and American support for it gave rise to “deep resentment and sharp protest among the people of Israel,” the statement said.
While united in anger over the Security Council’s action, the Cabinet remained sharply divided over the issue of resettling Jews in the West Bank Arab town of Hebron and deferred a decision on that matter until its next regular session Sunday. It was the third postponement in as many weeks. Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and the Liberal Party and Democratic Movement ministers are opposed to any settlement of Jews in the town. The government is under heavy pressure from nationalist and religious militants to move Jews into Hebron immediately.
BEGIN TO ISSUE POLITICAL STATEMENT
It was announced, meanwhile, that Premier Menachem Begin would deliver a political statement to the Knesset Thursday, apparently in response to the Security Council’s resolution and other international criticism of Israeli policies.
Following today’s Cabinet session, interior Minister Yosef Burg, head of Israel’s negotiating team in the autonomy talks with Egypt and the U.S., expressed concern that the resolution would be harmful to those negotiations. He told a meeting of the National Religious Party’s Knesset faction that he had personally expressed his shock to Ambassador Sol Linowitz, the U.S. representative in the autonomy talks, over American support for the resolution.
He said that several clauses in the resolution were familiar to him from his talks with American officials and therefore he believed the U.S. had a hand in drafting the document. The Cabinet met today because of a snow storm that paralyzed Jerusalem last Sunday when its regular weekly meeting was scheduled. Before the meeting, a small group of Peace Now demonstrators tried to hand out leaflets to ministers entering the Prime Minister’s Office urging them to vote against settling Jews in Hebron. The ministers refused to accept the leaflets.