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February 08, 1974 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-02-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8—Friday, February 8, 1974

Israel Denies POW Position Weakening

(Continued from Page 1)
Foreign Minister A b b a
Eban is due to visit the U.S.
in March.
He said his planned visit
was based on the assumption
that disengagement agree-
ments with Syria as well as
with Egypt would be in effect
by then.
Eban believes that disen-
gagement negotiations with
Syria will begin some time
this month, he said in an
interview taped for West Ger-
man television over the
weekend.
He based that prediction
on the "assumption that
Syria will not want to have
a completely isolated posi-
tion on this prisoner ques-
tion," meaning that he
thought Damascus would
soon accede to Israel's con-
dition that it produce a POW
list before negotiations can
begin.
Eban said that while Egypt
would prefer that Syria
reached some kind of
arrangement with Israel be-
fore Egypt proceeded to the
next phase of peace negotia-
tions at Geneva, he was "not
certain that President (An-
war) Sadat will subordinate
Egyptian interests to what
could be the caprice of Syria
. . . If Egypt were to take
that view, then Egyptian
sovereignty w o u l d have
moved from Cairo to Damas-
cus," Eban said.
He said that both Egypt
and Israel were carrying out
their disengagement commit-
ments properly, despite alle-
gations in the Cairo press of
Israeli violations.
Le Monde correspondent
Eric Rouleau reported from
Damascus Monday that Syria
was prepared to participate
in the Geneva conference
several weeks ago. Syrian
President Assad has also
drawn up a five-point plan
for the disengagement of Is-
raeli and Syrian forces in the
Golan Heights, Rouleau said.
According to him, a Syrian
delegation to the Geneva
conference had been named
and was to be headed by
Syria's ambassador in An-
kara, Salah Tarazi.
The Syrian plan tied the
separation of armies to the
final aim of total evacuation
of the territories occupied
since 1967.
Rouleau wrote the Syrian
plan also called for: a 14-
kilometer pullback of Israeli
troops in the Golan to the
heights that range the Israeli
border, thus giving Israel a
4-kilometer wide strip of ter
ritory there; installation of
UN forces in the liberated
part of the Golan which is to
be a demilitarized zone and
under the civil administra-
tion of Syria; resettlement in
the Golan region of the 15-
to 20,000 inhabitants who fled
during the October hostilities;
and Syria's release of its list
of Israeli prisoners of war
and its participation at the
Geneva peace conference.
Kissinger has not been in-
vited to take an intermediary
role in the Syrian attacks
against Israel and neither he
nor Undersecretary - desig-
nate Joseph J. Sisco have
plans to visit the Middle East
soon, the State Department
said Monday.
Rumors were current that
Kissinger or possibly Sisco,
would go to Damascus by
mid-February to help induce
Syria to enter talks for dis-
engagement of forces.
(According to diplomatic
sources in Beirut, Kissinger
would fly to Damascus this

week at the request of the
Syrian government. If he
were to succeed in arranging
Israeli-Syrian disengagement
negotiations, the way would
be open for Syria's participa-
tion in the next Phase of the
Geneva peace conference,
the sources said.)
"No trips are planned but
I never rule out anything,"
department spoke sm a n
George Vest said. He added
that Kissinger has a "suffici-
ent clear-cut schedule" for
the remainder of February
and Sisco has no travel
plans. The intermediary role,
Vest said, concerns the cur-
rent fighting.
"We consistently feel," he
said, that the U.S. wants to
continue the momentum of
the disengagement of forces
which the United States initi-
ated and are being success-
fully carried out on the Suez
front.
Commenting on statements
last week by President Nix-
on and Kissinger that indi-
cated an early lifting of the
Arab oil embargo against the
United States, Vest said that
the U.S. position is based on
"the assurances of several
Arab governments."
The question arose after
Syrian Foreign Minister Ab-
del Halim Khadam had said
at Kuwait airport Monday
on his way to Damascus after
visiting Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait that the governments
of those two countries would
not lift the embargo until
Syria's conditions for disen-
gagement are met.
Kissinger warned the Arab
countries Wednesday against
using the oil boycott as a
pressure tactic to force an
Israeli withdrawal. He said
in a speech before the Har-
vard - Yale - Princeton Club
that the U.S. would consider
such tactics blackmail and
they would affect "how we
conduct our diplomacy."
"In the interest of world
peace," however, he reinter-
ated U.S. support for United
Nations resolutions calling on
Israel to give up territories
gained in the Six-Day and
Yom Kippur wars.
While heavy artillery ex-
changes continued along the
Syrian front, Khadam was
quoted as saying that his
country was waging a war
of attrition against Israel in-
tended to "paralyze" the Is-
raeli economy by forcing Je-
rusalem to keep. its armed
forces in a high state of mo-
bilizatoin.
Military clashes on the
Syrian front in recent days
were said to be the heaviest
since the Yom Kippur War.
The shooting was described
as intermittant and sporadic,
diminishing on one sector of
the front only to flare up on
another.
Israel charged that Syria
violated the cease fire 16
times during the period Jan.
26-29 and claimed that the
violations "which are caus-
ing casualties prove the exist-
ence of a deliberate policy of
the Syrian government in this
respect.
The complaint was con-
tained in a letter to Secre-
tary General Kurt Waldheim
from the acting permanent
representative of Israel to
the UN, Jacob Doron.
"Reports by the United Na-
tions Observers Headquar-
tered to the Security Council
reflect this situation on the
cease-fire line between Israel
and Syria," Doron wrote.
He requested that his let-
ter be circulated as an of-

ficial document of the Gen-
eral Assembly and the Se-
curity Council.
Meanwhile disengagement
proceeded smoothly on the
Egyptian front.

Israelis were taking every
moveable item with them as
they retired from their "Afri-
can enclave." Military instal-
lations that cannot be move-
ed were being demolished
but no damage was being
done to civilian installations
such as roads.

concrete launching pads on .
the east bank of the canal,
which they retook from. the
Israelis in the October war. •
Israeli troops continued
their exodus from their 1,000-
square-mile bridgehea d on
the Cairo side of the canal
as United Nations troops
turned over to Egyptian con-
trol the last of the outposts
the Israelis evacuated Mon-
day. They had covered 100
square miles of desert hills.
Some 400 square miles of
the bridgehead has been re-
turned to the Egyptions.
Egypt, in turn, is to thin
out its forces in the Sinai
with a UN buffer force be-
tween the two armies.
Reports in Egypt that Is-
raelis deliberately damaged
a fertilizer plant and re-
fineries near the town of
Suez prior to withdrawal
were emphatically denied by
authoritative Israeli sources.
The sources noted that the
plant had been damaged
prior to the Yom Kippur
War, during the war of attri-
tion, and that additional
damage had occurred during
and after the Yom Kippur
War. No equipment was re-
(Continued on Page 9)

The Israeli chief of staff,
Gen. David Elaza r, had
promised that Israel would
not engage in a scorched
earth policy but made it clear
that this applied only to
civilian installations. (Due to
an error in transmission, the
Jewish Telegraphic Agency's
Daily News Bulletin of Jan.
30 had implied erroneously
that Elazar's promise had
included military installa-
tions.)
The Israeli state radio said
Tuesday that Israeli troops
will not quit the west bank of
the Suez Canal until Egypt
dismantles its missile sites
on both banks of the water-
way.
The broadcast said remov-
al of the 'missile sites, even
though they are not armed,
is required by a secret sec-
tion of the disengagement !I
agreement negotiated by
Kissinger.
Military sources said the
Egyptians built at least five

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