Counting on a U.S. veto, Israel says Veto would kill any U.N. move on deportees

January 11, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, declaring that Israel would not relent in the deportation of more than 400 Palestinians, insists that his government was counting on a veto by the United States of any sanctions that the U.N. Security Council might be asked to impose against this country.

Any attempt to force Israel to retreat on the issue or to punish it for the widely criticized move would undermine peace talks with his country's Arab neighbors, Mr. Rabin said after meeting with a U.N. envoy.

"We stand by the decision of the government," Mr. Rabin said after more than two hours of discussions with Chinmaya Gharekhan, the U.N. diplomat, on the future of more than 400 Palestinians deported last month from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on suspicion of supporting militant Islamic groups.

Israel fully expects the United States -- whether the outgoing Bush administration or the incoming administration of President-elect Bill Clinton -- to oppose U.N. sanctions and, if necessary, to veto the resolution, Rabin aides added. Israel, they said, had discussed the issue with both Bush and Clinton officials.

"Any damage to Israel will make the Arab states think that Israel has been weakened," Mr. Rabin said, "and that won't bring peace."

Zalman Shoval, Israel's ambassador to the United States, said the State Department had assured him it would block any U.N. sanctions against Israel.

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