TEL AVIV (Mar. 20)
A secret Israeli intelligence report prepared for top government officials says a dialogue with the Palestinians is impossible without the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The report, which says the PLO has undergone a substantive change for the better, also concludes that the Palestinian uprising will not stop in the foreseeable future unless Israel engages in talks with the PLO.
Details of the annual intelligence report, which was recently submitted to senior government figures in Jerusalem, were leaked to the Israeli news media Monday, possibly to coincide with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s convening of an international Jewish solidarity conference in Jerusalem.
Shamir has resolutely refused ever to negotiate with the PLO, a position that was challenged at the conference Monday.
The report was prepared by what were described as “authorized elements for appraisal,” all of whom are said to have agreed that the intifada has been a catalyst for all political processes connected with the Middle East conflict.
Those “elements” told the political higher echelons that a real change has occurred in the PLO, which now sincerely desires to find a realistic political solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem.
They noted this commitment is supported by the abundance of statements by PLO leaders on the issue.
The report also says there are no leaders in the territories who are not directed by the PLO. This would quash Shamir’s intention to negotiate only with Palestinian “moderates” in the territories.
CONCERN OVER IRAQI ROLE
The report says that even the most fervent supporters of Jordan’s King Hussein have fallen silent in face of the king’s decision, unchanged since last July, to sever all ties to the West Bank and leave its destiny up to the PLO.
The report’s authors believe the United States and Soviet Union now have a common interest in settling the conflict, and that this will necessarily bring about coordination between the superpowers on the problem.
The report raises concern about the economic cooperation agreement signed recently by Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and North Yemen. It points out that the group’s strength in the Arab world is increasing.
It observes that if the political process were to run aground again, this confederation could become a major threat to Israel’s security, because Iraq would place its awesome military might at the group’s disposal.
The report’s authors believe it is up to Israel to decide whether this alliance remains merely a basis for political and economic cooperation — or whether it expands to include hostile military coordination in the event of Israeli rejection of a political solution.