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have been profound. Profound reservations in the peninsula for the last half century since they had any contact with the Soviets. So I can't predict how quickly this will move, but the Soviets are certainly interested in opening relations. We'll see what the Saudi response is.
Ms. MEYERS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
PLO CAR BOMB AND SECRETARY SHULTZ'S HOTEL Mr. SOLARZ. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, it's good to see you.
I hope you'll forgive me if I ask one or two questions which you may have been asked already, but I was obligated to go to another meeting
Could you tell us whether we have any information which would indicate whether or not the PLO was responsible for the car bomb that was placed near the hotel where Secretary Shultz was staying during his recent visit to Jerusalem?
Ambassador MURPHY. It was claimed by one of the PLO broadcasts. That's the best evidence we have.
Mr. SOLARZ. Was it claimed by Arafat? Was credit for this monstrous deed claimed by the PLO itself or by one of the constituent organizations within it?
Ambassador MURPHY. Let me get that for the record. I was not with the Secretary's party on that day and I don't have the details.
[The information follows:] Responsibility for the car-bomb attempt in Jerusalem during Secretary Shultz? February-March 1988 trip was claimed by a Fatah group calling itself "The Martyrs of Limassol.” The claim was made by phone to a news organization in Lebanon. We are unaware of the identities of any members of this group.
Mr. SOLARZ. In any case, do we believe the claim was an accurate one?
Ambassador MURPHY. I have no reason to disbelieve it. That's all I can say. I have known Mr. Arafat to claim all kinds of things which he didn't achieve in the past, but whether this is or isn't, I
U.S. ATTEMPTS AT DIALOGUE WITH PALESTINIANS Mr. SOLARZ. I gather when the Secretary was in Jerusalem he had hoped to meet with a number of Palestinians from the West Bank. In fact, when he went to the American Colony Hotel where the meeting was supposed to be held, no one showed up. Could you tell us what the position of the PLO is with respect to a meeting with Secretary Shultz? Did the people who were invited refuse to participate because they had received instructions not to go from someone?
Ambassador MURPHY. Some of them had received direct threats. The position of the PLO executive in Tunis as of that moment in time was they'd be happy to see a meeting take place. They weren't asking that Arafat or any member of the executive committee be involved, but that the meeting include Palestinians from outside the territories as well as those inside.
Mr. SOLARZ. What was the Secretary's response to that?
Ambassador MURPHY. We didn't know until, that was Friday. We didn't know until early afternoon that it wasn't going to take place. He then decided he would make the statement which you perhaps have seen, to the television. He wished he could have made it in person.
Mr. SOLARZ. Is the Secretary planning to meet with a group of Palestinians at some point?
Ambassador MURPHY. There is no plan at the moment, but I'm sure he will be. I'm sure he will. He met with Siniora and Abu Rahme several weeks ago here in Washington.
DO THE ARABS WANT PEACE?
Mr. SOLARZ. It has been asserted that the primary reason why there is no peace in the Middle East 40 years after the establishment of Israel is that with the exception of Egypt, none of the other Arab countries have been willing to recognize Israel's right to exist or enter into direct negotiations with it. Would you agree or disagree with that assessment?
Ambassador MURPHY. I would agree certainly that they have not been ready to enter into direct negotiations with it. That is the name of this game, of course, is to find the way to get them into direct negotiations.
Mr. SOLARZ. Do you agree that none of the Arabs with the exception of Egypt have been willing to recognize Israel's right to exist?
Ambassador MURPHY. I have felt ever since 1967 when I saw the quotations drop out of the newspaper articles around the name of Israel that there wasn't much doubt about Israel's existence. They did choke up about saying the words "right to exist," do the Palestinians have a right to exist was always the counter-argument that you got. But the 1967 war blew away the quotations around the name Israel, and as a matter of fact in most typesetters, so its existence was no longer questioned. I don't think its existence is questioned today. There may be fantasies out there in some circles, fantasists that would like to see it disappear one day.
Mr. SOLARZ. Let me reformulate the question. I think there are many people who believe that the main reason you haven't had peace between Israel and the Arabs is that the Arabs don't want peace with Israel, but rather want the elimination of Israel. In your view, do you think most of the Arab countries would prefer peace with Israel or the elimination of Israel?
Ambassador MURPHY. I think they would prefer a peace with Israel. Of course they are devising a peace where they thought that justice for their side was secured.
Mr. SOLARZ. Mr. Chairman, would you be willing to indulge me for a few more questions?
Mr. HAMILTON. Sure.
DO PALESTINIANS SEEK TO ELIMINATE ISRAEL
Mr. SOLARZ. Thank you very much.
Last night Prime Minister Shamir said in a speech that the objective of the demonstrators who were engaging in protests on the West Bank and Gaza was not to establish an independent Palestinian state of autonomy in those territories but rather to eliminate Israel itself. Do you share that view?
Ambassador MURPHY. I share the view that that could become the case, and that's what worries us.
Mr. SOLARZ. But is it the case?
Mr. SOLARZ. Do you think they are prepared to make peace with Israel if they could get rid of the occupation?
Ambassador MURPHY. I would say yes.
Mr. SOLARZ. Or do you think they would simply use the territo ries as a springboard for further aggression against them?
Ambassador MURPHY. I don't expect Israel or anybody else to relax as these negotiations get going. They're going to be tough and each side is going to have to constantly prove its good faith, and that in fact was the very last sentence in the Secretary's message, that after he said it was an integral whole, that the U.S. understands your acceptance is dependent on the implementation of each element in good faith, and good faith is what we've been short of out there.
PALESTINIAN VIEWS OF UN RESOLUTIONS
Mr. SOLARZ. Ever since the mid 1970's, we have taken the position that we would not enter into any negotiations with the PLO unless and until the PLO accepted resolution 242, recognized Israel's right to exist, and renounced terrorism. I noticed in an interview a few days ago that Anthony Lewis of the New York Times had with Mr. Arafat that when he was asked about UN resolution 242, he said that he accepted 242 together with all other relevant UN resolutions.
Do we consider that formulation to constitute an acceptance by the PLO of 242?
Ambassador MURPHY. No, we've asked for just a very simple “I accept 242 and 338." He's choked on that. So he's talked of all relevant resolutions. He regards it as playing a major card, that until the PLO is assured of their role in the process he's not going to give that legitimacy to Israel. That's his attitude.
Mr. SOLARZ. But if he says he accepts 242 with other relevant
Ambassador MURPHY. There were an awful lot of resolutions which we don't consider relevant and some of which we didn't accept.
Mr. SOLARZ. So we want an undiluted acceptance of 242?
PALESTINIAN VIEWS ON TERRORISM Mr. SOLARZ. We've also asked them to renounce terrorism, and I think in the interview with Anthony Lewis he reaffirmed the PLO's commitment to the Cairo Declaration in which I think they said they would foreswear the use of force or violence outside of the West Bank and Gaza and Israel itself, but would continue to use force and violence against Israel both within the green line and in the West Bank and Gaza. Do we consider the Cairo Declaration to be an adequate repudiation of terrorism?
Ambassador MURPHY. No.
Mr. SOLARZ. What would we require? Would we require the PLO to renounce the use of force under any and all circumstances within Israel and the West Bank and Gaza also?
Ambassador MURPHY. That's right. If it expects to be invited to that conference.
SYRIA'S POSITION ON AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Mr. SOLARZ. You have made the point that in Secretary Shultz' proposal for an international conference, the five permanent members of the Security Council would not have any right to impose a settlement or be a court of last resort in the negotiations. They would in effect be an umbrella under which direct negotiations would take place.
What has been the Syrian position on this? Has Assad accepted our formulation, or has he said he would only agree to participate in an international conference if the international conference, the five permanent members of the Security Council, had the right to impose a settlement on the parties to the conference?
Ambassador MURPHY. No, I think as I understand his position, it's not that exactly. For instance, he wouldn't accept an imposed solution to his problems with Israel if he didn't happen to agree with them. He would like, though, the international community represented by the five to be in total, explicit, and highly precise agreement on the guidelines for the negotiation so that also we're not going to negotiate over land as far as Syria is concerned. That is not negotiable. Non-belligerency. Peace may be negotiable, but not land.
Mr. SOLARZ. As I understand it, Secretary Shultz asked the three heads of state to whom he sent his letter, King Hussein, President Assad, and Prime Minister Shamir, for a response by today as to whether or not they accept his letter. I think March 15th was the date that he mentioned. As of this moment, have we received responses from Jordan or Syria?
Ambassador MURPHY. No, we don't have responses from any one. We don't have a hangup about the particular day. The hope was it would be by mid-March, but we think that time is going to run out on the opportunity to move ahead, so as soon as possible is the word, get your answer.
JORDAN'S VIEWS ON A JOINT JORDANIAN-PALESTINIAN DELEGATION
Mr. SOLARZ. Finally, you have indicated, I think, Israel's strong desire for a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation in any negotiations which take place. I think you've also said that Jordan prefers a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. I gather the PLO has taken the position that it insists on a separate Palestinian delegation. Could you tell us why Jordan is insisting on a joint JordanianPalestinian delegation as opposed to being willing to accept a separate Palestinian delegation?
Ambassador MURPHY. I think its assumption is that's the only way the negotiations are going to get started and continue. You remember back in 1985 when there was the Hussein-Arafat Accord, then joint delegation was perfectly acceptable. They liked the phrasing of the President's speech back in 1982 before that about an entity, an association with Jordan would be the result of the negotiations. So they do feel responsible for negotiations, at the same time limited in their capability to carry out negotiations if the Palestinians aren't there, but they feel the only realistic way to go is with them.
Mr. SOLARZ. Will Jordan enter negotiations if Israel accepts the Shultz formula but the PLO rejects it? In other words, what happens if the PLO says it refuses to participate and it refuses to countenance the participation of any Palestinians?
Ambassador MURPHY. All I can say is there have to be Palestinians, and there has to be some acquiescence there.
Mr. SOLARZ. Would the King do it over the objections of the PLO?
Ambassador MURPHY. I don't know that Palestinians would do it over the objections of the PLO. So it comes around to the same thing.
Mr. SOLARZ. So you're saying in effect the PLO has a veto over the peace process?
Ambassador MURPHY. Yes. I think everyone has a veto over the peace process. That's one of the beauties of it.
Mr. SOLARZ. Mr. Chairman, on that discouraging note, I thank you very much for indulging me. I very much appreciate it.
TRENDS IN VIOLENCE IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA
Mr. HAMILTON. I'm glad to have you, Mr. Solarz.
Mr. Secretary, I'd like to return to the West Bank and Gaza. I'm interested in your view of the trends. We have now had about 90 Palestinians killed, the disturbances have gone on for a period of weeks. Do you see the trend line of these disturbances increasing or decreasing or staying about the same?
Ambassador MURPHY. I'd say staying about the same. There seem to be fewer of the 200-300 people demonstrations. I think you're beginning to see more than rocks coming out. There are weapons out there, there are weapons present in the West Bank and Gaza, but that's been one of the extraordinary things. As I said earlier, they were very restrained.
Mr. HAMILTON. Do you anticipate that those weapons would begin to be used shortly?
Ambassador MURPHY. I don't want anything I say to contribute to a trend. But you've gone from rocks to malatov cocktails. You've had outright terrorism used in the bus incident, in the hijacking. I think
you can expect to see more of that. Mr. HAMILTON. I guess the question is, are these disturbances going to fade out in a short period of time, or do you anticipate that the situation has changed markedly and that these events are going to go on for some period of time and you're going to have a kind of war of attrition going on out here?
Ambassador MURPHY. Obviously if Israel decided to crush them, Israel could use massive force and blanket the area and keep the disturbances much more constrained. Israel has not chosen to go