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Shultz Urges Negotiation on Israeli-Occupied Lands

February 25, 1988|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Secretary of State George P. Shultz urged Israel today to negotiate a prompt and final agreement with the Arabs about the violence-plagued occupied territories and blamed longtime Israeli occupation, not outside agitation, for the violent unrest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Its fundamental origin is essentially indigenous," Shultz said on the flight from Washington to begin a five-day peace shuttle in which he will present U.S. proposals to the Israelis and Arabs.

President Reagan, at a news conference Wednesday night, blamed "terrorists" and "outsiders" he did not identify for the violence in the Israeli-held territories, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East War. He cited intelligence reports but gave no details. (Story, Page 10.)

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today that the statements of Reagan and Shultz were "totally consistent."

"The President said the same thing," Fitzwater said. "He just said they (the riots) were partly influenced by outside sources. . . . He is saying that it is indigenous in the nature of the political problems there but there has been some outside influence as well."

'Mixed Picture' Presented

Shultz said today that intelligence reports provide a "mixed picture," including interaction with outside forces.

Shultz would give no details of his latest peace proposal, but said his approach to both sides will go far beyond an interim arrangement for the occupied lands, where 1.5 million Palestinians live.

Egypt, Jordan and several other Arab nations have told the United States they reject the 1978 Camp David formula for self-rule in the territories.

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt called the plan, which helped produce the March, 1979, peace treaty between his country and Israel, "a thing of the past whose time has ended."

On the plane, Shultz told reporters "final status issues" must be taken up promptly, and "we have a proposal for that."

It is understood to be a two-step plan that would loosen Israeli controls immediately and lead to negotiations for a final settlement, even Palestinian statehood, by December.

The secretary said the "underlying problem" in the West Bank and Gaza is that people "don't have the basic rights of governance."

Israeli control does not lend itself to "a stable situation" in the West Bank and Gaza, he said.

'Touchstone' Resolutions

A "fundamental touchstone" of his plan are resolutions passed by the U.N. Security Council in 1967 and 1973 calling on Israel to cede territory in exchange for acceptance by its Arab neighbors, Shultz said.

The secretary said the U.S. package is not like a "cafeteria," permitting the sides to choose elements they like and reject the others.

He also rejected a Soviet proposal for an international conference in which the superpowers would play an active role, contending such arrangements are not likely to produce "good results."

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who had urged Washington for months to be more forceful, greeted Shultz at the airport and said: "There is no better alternative than to make the first step toward the long march to bring peace to our people and our area."

Peres said Israelis were in the "most demanding period in our life."

Shultz responded: "Now is the time to work for peace and I'm convinced I'm bringing with me a workable proposal."

The big question is what Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir will say to Shultz when they meet on Friday. Until now, Shamir has resisted the "territory-for-peace" formula long advocated by the State Department.

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