Facebook Twitter

ISRAEL COULD FURTHER DELAY ACCORD IF PALESTINIANS RENEGE, RABIN SAYS

SHARE ISRAEL COULD FURTHER DELAY ACCORD IF PALESTINIANS RENEGE, RABIN SAYS

Israel could further delay implementing the Israel-PLO autonomy accord if the Palestinians renege on understandings regarding border security and the size of Jericho, the prime minister said Saturday.

Yitzhak Rabin also said Israel would consider a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, as Syria has demanded, in exchange for peace. Israel has previously said it would consider a partial withdrawal. Israel captured the strategic plateau during the 1967 Arab-Israel war and later annexed it.Israel and the PLO agreed last week to renew autonomy talks Monday in the Egyptian resort of Taba.

After talks in Cairo in December, PLO chief Yasser Arafat rejected compromises on who would control border crossings - Israeli soldiers or Palestinian police - and how big the autonomous region at Jericho would be.

Those problems have been the main obstacles to implementing the Sept. 13 accord, under which Israel was to have begun withdrawing last month from Jericho, in the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

"If it turns out that . . . the Palestinians renege on principal matters discussed in Cairo, we have every right to do as they do," Rabin said on army radio.

"I think that if this is the tendency, more obstacles will be placed in the path of reaching a written agreement" on implementing the first stage of Palestinian autonomy in the occupied territories, he said.

In anticipation of the Jan. 16 summit between Syrian President Hafez Assad and President Clinton, Rabin suggested he would consider a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights once Damascus declared peace with Israel.