JERUSALEM (Sep. 12)
The Cabinet heard today Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s formulation of Israel’s strategy for the forthcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly and the eventuality of a Security Council debate on Jerusalem at Jordan’s behest. Eban proposed to present to the Assembly a wide range of options acceptable to Israel for either an overall peace settlement or a partial agreement with Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal. The strategy, according to Eban, is intended to demonstrate Israel’s flexibility in contrast to the sterility of the Arab approach which concentrates on total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories.
Foreign Ministry circles believe the minimum Arab aim is a General Assembly resolution condemning Israel for refusing to implement the Security Council’s Resolution 242. According to the Arab-Soviet interpretation, the resolution makes withdrawal a prerequisite of implementation. The Arabs are also expected to ask the Assembly to condemn Israel for not endorsing a memorandum by UN special Mideast envoy Gunnar V. Jarring calling for a pull-back of Israeli troops from the Sinai in order to effect the reopening of the canal.
(A UN special committee investigating the condition of Arabs in Israel-held territory was reported today to be drafting a report to the General Assembly accusing Israel, by her own admission, of having violated the 1949 Geneva Convention by preparing for permanent rule of the occupied Arab territories. The committee, formed in 1961, consists at present of Ceylon, Somalia and Yugoslavia. It held hearings last year in Western and Arab capitals on allegations of Israeli maltreatment of the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories. Israel refused to admit the committee to its territory or to the occupied area because the committee refused to conduct an investigation of the condition of Jews in Arab lands.)
Jordan has not yet made its formal request for a Security Council meeting on Jerusalem. If such a meeting is to be held it must take place within the next few days, before the General Assembly session opens on Sept. 21. Eban announced some time ago that accusations brought by Jordan against Israeli activities in Jerusalem would be countered by a detailed expose of Jordanian atrocities and desecration during their 19-year occupation of the city.