JERUSALEM (Jul. 23)
Premier Shimon Peres said today that at least two names on a list of seven proposed Palestinian members of a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation were acceptable to Israel as negotiating partners.
They are Hanna Seniora, editor of the East Jerusalem daily Al-Fajer, and Fayez Abu-Rahme, a Gaza lawyer, Peres told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. He said Jordan rejected 15 candidates proposed by Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat.
The list was submitted to the U.S. last week by Jordan and after being studied by the State Department, was conveyed to Israel. Jerusalem promptly rejected it on grounds that the proposed Palestinian negotiators were either officials of the PLO or closely associated with it and that none were residents of the administered territories.
Although the list was not made public here by official channels, The Jerusalem Post, citing reliable sources, identified the seven, Seniora and Abu-Rahme among them.
Peres confirmed their inclusion today, though he said nothing to indicate that Israel might reverse its initial rejection of the list, which piqued the Reagan Administration. Washington plans to hold a “dialogue” with a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, the primary aim of which, it says, is to promote direct talks between the Arabs and Israel.
U.S. WON’T MEET WITH THE PLO
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, appearing before the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee yesterday, said the U.S. has indicated that it would not be trapped into a fruitless meeting with the PLO.
Shamir told the committee he had made clear to Washington that the Arab world viewed the proposed dialogue as a means of gaining U.S. recognition of the PLO, that the Arabs reject face-to-face negotiations with Israel and would use the talks with the U.S. to push for an international conference on the Middle East as a substitute for direct negotiations.
Shamir said the U.S. could not deny this and gave assurances it would not be misled. Both Jerusalem and Washington are interested in promoting direct negotiations, Shamir said, and that is what counts, not whose names appear on a list submitted by the Arab side. He said it wasn’t clear when the U.S. would meet with a joint delegation or whether in fact it ever will.