U.S. Denies Proposing a Demilitarized Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza Strip

The State Department denied today that U.S. officials proposed a “demilitarized Palestinian state” on the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon during his visit here last week. “We have made no such proposals and did not make such a proposal during Sharon’s visit,” State Department spokesman John Hughes said.

The Israeli Cabinet at its meeting yesterday flatly rejected the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state. The Cabinet acted after hearing a report on talks by Sharon with Reagan Administration officials. According to the report, one of the ideas suggested to Sharon was the proposal for such a state.

Hughes stressed that the U.S. does not agree with Sharon’s contention that Jordan is the Palestinian state. “The Reagan Administration, like its predecessor, supports the territorial integrity and unique and enduring character of Jordan, ” he added.

Hughes said 600 terrorists left this morning by sea for Cyprus, while 2,000 Syrian troops went overland to Syria. He did not have a total figure for the number of PLO terrorists who left since the evacuation began August 20. But he said the number has exceeded the sum of 7,000 terrorists U.S. special envoy Philip Habib had estimated were in Beirut. This, Hughes noted, proves that the evacuation is “going very well.”

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