Israel Accepts UN Emissary
ISRAELI Foreign Minister David Levy said on Monday that his country would accept a lone United Nations emissary following a United States promise to try to end UN debate on the police killing of 18 Palestinians last month. Israel had rejected the UN Security Council's condemnation of the killings on Jerusalem's Temple Mount and a proposal to send an investigative mission.
Eighteen Palestinians were killed and more than 140 wounded when police opened fire on Arab stone-throwers at the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews.
The proposed compromise was an apparent attempt to reduce criticism of Israel which drew world attention away from the Gulf crisis.
``Israel is ready to receive an emissary of the secretary-general, not on the basis of the Security Council resolution which we reject,'' Mr. Levy was quoted as telling a closed-door session of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.
After Israel rejected the mission, UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar proposed an unprecedented meeting of all signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention to discuss alleged Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
``The Americans will take steps to remove the subject of the Temple Mount from the Security Council agenda. Cooperation will be restored between Israel and the United States in all matters connected with the Security Council,'' Levy said.
``We hope this agreement will be accepted by the secretary-general,'' he added, according to sources at the meeting.
Levy told the committee the US and Israel had discussed the matter intensively for the past 10 days, and Monday morning Israel received a message from the US with the assurances.
He said the emissary, if sent, would continue the work of Mr. de Cuellar's aide Jean Claude Aime, who visited Israel in July. Army radio said that Mr. Aime, whom Israel considers friendly, would be the emissary in a future mission.
The emissary would examine the general issues of the Israeli-Arab conflict, it said.