WASHINGTON (Apr. 25)
The State Department rejected today the view of former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meron Benvenisti that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is nearly irreversable.
” We do not believe it is too late for a negotiated resolution of the conflict based on Israel’s return of territory in exchange for a just and durable peace, ” the Department said.
The State Department said that it was aware of Benvenisti’s views which he had discussed with Department officials several times. He is scheduled to meet with Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, tomorrow.
The Department said that the U.S. was still committed to President Reagan’s September I, 1982, Middle East peace initiative and the President’s view that United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 committed Israel to a withdrawal on all fronts after a negotiated settlement.