The PLO will insist that an independent Palestine have a corridor through Israel to connect the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, PLO chief Yasser Arafat is quoted by a West Germany magazine as saying.
In an interview in this week's Der Spiegel magazine, Arafat also was quoted as saying the Palestine Liberation Organization will continue to demand that Jerusalem be capital of that independent state.He was asked if, in the negotiations he hopes for with Israel, he would insist on sticking to U.N. Resolution 181, which deliniates borders for Israel and a Palestinian state. Under those borders, some areas that the Israelis have held for 40 years would be part of a Palestinian state.
However, Arafat was quoted as saying: "Let's get the talks started first, then each can put their conditions on the table."
"But in all cases we will insist on establishing a corridor between West (Bank of the River) Jordan and the Gaza Strip. It is not acceptable for us to establish a state split into two parts."
The Palestine National Council declared an independent state Nov. 15 at a meeting in Algiers. Then, after Arafat explicitly recognized Israel's right to exist and renounced terrorism, Washington ended a 13-year ban on contacts with the organization and opened talks with the PLO on Dec. 16.
Israel has said it will not negotiate for Middle East peace with the PLO, which it considers a terrorist organization.
Arafat backs an international Middle East peace conference, and has in the past two weeks traveled to Austria, East Germany, Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia seeking support for the plan. He had an audience with Pope John Paul II on Friday.
In the interview, Arafat also insisted that Arab east Jerusalem must be the Palestine capital: "We demand our Arabian Jerusalem, not more and not less." Israel annexed Arab east Jerusalem after seizing it in the 1967 Middle East war along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are home to 1.7 million Palestinians.