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PLO Likely to Endorse Provisional Government With AM-Israel, Bjt

August 15, 1988

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ A senior PLO official said Monday that the organization’s executive panel has approved the establishment of a provisional government in the Israeli- occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Bassam Abu Sharif, a spokesman for PLO chief Yasser Arafat, also called on the United States to support the formation of an independent Palestinian state.

″The Executive Committee has approved the idea of the provisional government and it will be endorsed by the PNC (Palestine National Council),″ Abu Sharif told a news conference in Baghdad.

The Palestine National Council, parliament-in-exile of the Palestine Liberation Organization, is scheduled to meet next month in Algeria.

Abu Sharif said the PNC will explore the idea of demanding independence for the West Bank and Gaza and the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

″This state has been the target of the intefadah and the Council will thoroughly examine the possibility of its declaration soon,″ he said.

Intefadah, Arabic for uprising, is the name given to the unrest that began last Dec. 8 against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel captured from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war.

Abu Sharif said ″the U.S. administration should support ... U.N. resolutions which call for the setting up of a Palestinian state.″

Israel has denounced all attempts to declare Palestinian independence or set up a state in occupied territory. It refuses to talk to the PLO, which it views as a terrorist group.

Abu Sharif accused the Israelis of starving Palestinians in the occupied lands in an attempt to stop the 8-month-old uprising, in which more than 240 Palestinians and four Israelis have died.

He claimed authorities had prevented the United Nations Relief and Works Agency from distributing rations in an attempt to force the Palestinians to abandon their protests.

″Our people will not succumb and will continue the intefadah until the establishement of our national state,″ he said.

Abu Sharif also said the PLO will compensate Palestinians who have been left jobless after Jordan’s King Hussein late last month announced he was cutting legal and administrative ties with the West Bank and Gaza.

A high-ranking PLO delegation arrived Monday in Cairo, Egypt for talks with officials on the implications of Jordan’s move.

″We discussed consultations to create a Palestinian state or a government- in-exile or a temporary government,″ Abdullah Horani, a member of the PLO delegation, told reporters after a 90-minute meeting with Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel-Meguid.

The group arrived in Egypt after three days of talks in Jordan.

In Jerusalem, appeals for a dialogue with Israel from PLO officials led to a wide-ranging debate in the Jewish state Monday as Israeli leaders discussed sincerity of the PLO peace steps.

The latest appeal came from Salah Khalaf, deputy chairman of Arafat’s Fatah wing of the PLO.

Khalaf, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Iyad, told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday that the PLO was considering forming a provisional government that would drop demands for the elimination of Israel.

Last month Abu Sharif indicated the PLO may adopt the idea of peace talks based on recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, leader of the right-wing Likud bloc, rejected Abu Iyad’s appeal and called it a tactical move ultimately aimed at Israel’s destruction.

Shamir said ″the issue of a Palestinian ... state is not accepted by anyone in Israel. Its very mention creates and deepens confrontations.″

But an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, commenting on condition of anonymity, said officials would ″study attentively″ the text of Abu Iyad’s interview.

A ministry official said a group of analysts was monitoring PLO developments on a routine basis.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, head of the liberal Labor Party, demanded that the PLO present a clear-cut position.

Cabinet Ministers Moshe Arens of the Likud bloc and Ezer Weizman of the Labor Party clashed over Abu Iyad’s peace suggestions in a heated debate broadcast Monday by Israel army radio.

Update hourly