Peres Offers Plan for Settling Palestinian Problem
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Peres Offers Plan for Settling Palestinian Problem

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Shimon Peres, chairman of the opposition Labor Party, called for a settlement of the Palestinian problem by the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian framework to include all of the Palestinians living in Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to Peres, Jewish settlements could remain intact within such a framework under Jordanian sovereignty. Just as there are Arab settlements under non-Arab administration, so there could be Jewish settlements under non-Jewish sovereignty, Peres told a group of 40 Israel Bond Organization leaders from the U.S. Under such a plan, however, the Israeli army will remain along the banks of the Jordan River and the territory Israel returns must be demilitarized, without the presence of a hostile army, Peres said.

He said the plan has been more or less accepted by President Reagan whose own plan, announced September 1, envisioned Israel’s with drawl from the West Bank and a union of that territory in some form with Jordan. Premier Menachem Begin’s government has denounced the Reagan plan as a deviation from the Camp David accords and said Israel would never negotiate on its basis.

Peres said the Labor Party does not renounce Israel’s historic rights to the territory. “But if you want to be free, if you want to live in peace, if you do not want to destroy the Jewish majority in Israel, you have to compromise,” he said.


But he said Israel would never compromise over Jerusalem which is “for us the only capital of Israel and not just the center of the Jewish State but the heart of the Jewish people.” Nevertheless, he would not exclude the right of Jerusalem Arabs to ask to be allowed to vote for the proposed West Bank self-governing authority under the autonomy plan. “All negotiations must be without pre-conditions,” he said.

Peres rated prospects for a peace treaty with Lebanon at this time as somewhere between very low and non-existent.

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