TEL AVIV (Mar. 9)
Israeli officials are bracing for a possible early attempt by France, West Germany and Britain to nullify United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 or amend it in a way that would recognize the Palestinians as a political entity. The thrust of the three countries, the most powerful members of the European Economic Community (EEC), was made clear in the recent statements by President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France, endorsing Palestinian self-determination. He was backed up strongly by West German leaders. (See related story.)
Resolution 242, agreed to by all parties as the basis for a Middle East peace settlement when it was first formulated in November, 1967, is the foundation on which the Camp David accords rest. Premier Menachem Begin warned last week that any alteration of the resolution would eliminate the basis of the Camp David agreements with inevitable consequences.
Giscard’s position was stated in the course of his visit to the Persian Gulf states and Jordan. He said in Amman that the Palestine Liberation Organization must be given a voice in a Middle East settlement and that it was time to cease regarding the Palestinians as refugees but as a people with the right to self-determination. Resolution 242, ###ers to the Palestinians in the context of a refugee problem.
In Washington, West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt supported the idea of self-determination for the Palestinians. He noted that West Germany itself was seeking self-determination for the East Germans. West Germany’s Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher was quoted in an interview published in Cairo yesterday as saying that more countries should follow the lead of France in recognizing self-determination for the Palestinians.
British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington has been pressing that view for some time. Israeli political circles believe it is inevitable that the three EEC powers will sponsor a resolution in the Security Council stressing the role of the Palestinians and possibly recognizing the PLO as their main or sole representative.
Israel has taken a grave view of these moves and its Ambassadors in Bonn, Paris and London have expressed their government’s displeasure over the recent statements with respect to the Middle East.