The Israeli Defence, General Moishe Dayan, speaking in a television interview in New York yesterday (Sunday, 13 December) discounted the possibility of Israel returning territory captured during the 1967 Middle East war as a lever towards a settlement of the Middle East situation.
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SCU Dayan speaking Reporter asks question
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: Looking ahead to the general negotiations, General Dayan, you and a number of other israeli officials have been quoted from time to time with saying that as part of a settlement Israel must maintain the Golan Heights of Syria, Arab Jerusalem, Shahm el Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, perhaps settlements on the West Bank. Now, are they fixed requirements or is there some room for compromise in the negotiations?"
SEQ. 2: DAYAN: These I should say are points, but what is concrete about it is that we don't want to go back to the old line. And I mean not even if there are some minor reciprocation. We don't accept that formula. We just don't want it. this is unacceptable to us. Now when we have to draw a kind of a map to explain what our, what is our concept about is, speaking about the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Jordan and the security line, that is Shahm el Shiekh and so on, but when our government decided, and then it was approved by our parliament to go to the Jarring talks we said there that the talks if and when they take place will be without prior conditions.
That is to say we shall come to the table and say 'Gentlemen, that's the way that we see it'. Now we understand that the Arabs feel differently. We should hear from, and then we should negotiate.
REPORTER: Are you saying you believe the Russians want a settlement in the Middle East particularly in view of their desire to re-open the Suez Canal?
DAYAN: I don't know what the Russians want. I think, I don't think they are pushing now the Arabs to renew the war. I don't think they are pushing them for the renewal of the war. I wouldn't say that the Russians in Egypt are working for peace. No, I wouldn't say that.
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Background: The Israeli Defence, General Moishe Dayan, speaking in a television interview in New York yesterday (Sunday, 13 December) discounted the possibility of Israel returning territory captured during the 1967 Middle East war as a lever towards a settlement of the Middle East situation. He said that Israel had agreed to enter talks with Arab leaders in the Jarring talks on the basis that no preconditions were made. To surrender positions such as Golan Heights, Arab Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip before a settlement was reached was unacceptable to Israel.
General Dayan was interviewed by a panel of American reporters on a nationwide television programme. He was asked about the status of Israeli held territory: