TEL AVIV (Dec. 28)
Former Foreign Minister Mashe Dayan is continuing to press his view that Israel should unilaterally implement its autonomy plan on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a proposal rejected by the Knesset last week when he presented it as an agenda motion.
During a television interview yesterday, Dayan contended that the autonomy talks between Israel, Egypt and the U.S. have reached a dead end. He also hinted that the West Bank mayors would accept autonomy even though they oppose it publicly and insist on nothing less, than a Palestinian state. “The achievements during 18 months of talks have been very small even if you use a powder puff to cover up the faults,” Dayan said. “The Palestinian Arabs and the Jordanians will not join the negotiations.”
He suggested instead that Israel withdraw its forces on the West Bank and Gazo to the locations specified at Camp David and that local government be handed over to the elected mayors.
“The mayors and Arab leaders with whom I have met intimated to me that publicly they will continue to claim that my proposals do not satisfy them. They will say they do not want crumbs, that they want a Palestinian state with Israeli recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Dayan said.
“But the impression I received with all of those I have talked to was that if we can negotiate properly, we can reach on agreement on implementation of my plan,” Dayan stated. He declined to name the Arab personalities with whom he had spoken but said they were forced to oppose his plan in public and to publicly support the PLO.
They were all elected to their present offices and are allowed to perform responsible municipal functions. There is therefore no other forum with whom Israel can discuss local self-rule,” Dayan said.
SADAT AGREES TO EXPEDITE NORMALIZATION
In another development over the weekend, President Anwar Sadat reaffirmed his promise to president Yitzhak Navon to expedite the normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel. Sadat made that pledge when Navon visited Egypt in October and renewed it when the Israeli chief of state telephoned to wish him well on his 62nd birthday last Thursday. Navon noted that the agreements were being implemented slowly and expressed confidence that they would soon be implemented in full.
In that connection, an Egyptian Parliamentary delegation will visit Israel next month, overland trade via Sinai commenced last week with the first shipments of Israeli goods by truck to Egypt, El Al was granted permission for a fourth weekly flight to Egypt, and Egypt cancelled restrictions on Israeli tourists to the Santa Catherina Monastery in Sinai.
Meanwhile, an Israeli military delegation searching for the remains of soldiers missing in action in the Yom Kippur War were reported to be receiving the full cooperation of Egyptian authorities. A youth exchange between Israel and Egypt will begin next summer. Israel will participate in two book fairs in Cairo and a joint convention of invalids will take place next June.