The Israeli parliament on Monday (19 June) gave its backing to government plans for the future of occupied Arab territories.
The Israeli parliament on Monday (19 June) gave its backing to government plans for the future of occupied Arab territories. Prime Minister Menachem Begin has proposed limited self rule for the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip.
SYNOPSIS: In the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, the debate on the proposals ended with them being backed by 59 votes to 39. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said the cabinet decision would probably fail to satisfy the United States, who had asked for clarification of Israel's long term plans for the territories.
During the debate demonstrators from the Peace Now movement shouted their disapproval, and were removed by security officials.
There was also disagreement among the politicians, and in the vote the Defence Minister, Ezer Weizman, did not take part -- as did nine members of the Democratic movement for Change, the DMC, which is part of the ruling coalition.
Approval of the cabinet plans means that discussions on the future of the occupied territories should only begin after five years of administrative autonomy in the areas -- dating from the time Israel reaches a peace agreement with the Arab countries. According in Reuters, the plans represent a vague compromise reply to searching American questions on the future of the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip. The status of the territories has been troubling the United States in its search for a Middle East peace agreement. In Washington the State Department said there would be no immediate comment on the reply, but added it would continue to consult with both Israel and Egypt on how to proceed with the peace talks.