Besides financial pledges that could cost the United States up to$5 billion, Israel expects the United States to make a major political investment to assure that the peace treaty with Egypt is respected, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said today.
Dayan said he is convinced the United States will be involved in negotiations for Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza and that President Carter will take other steps to make the Egyptian-Israeli accord attractive to other Middle East countries, including Jordan and possibly in the future, Syria.
Referring to economic and military aid the United States is expected to provide Egypt and Israel, Dayan said that American assistance will only be the beginning if the peace treaty is accepted by other states in the region.
Although financial aspects of the treaty are still being worked out -- partially by Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman in his visit to Washington -- it has been estimated the treaty will initially cost $3.5 billion in aid to Israel and $1 billion a year in additional assistance to Egypt.
The Israeli aid is for construction of two new air bases in the Negev Desert to replace installations being given up in the Sinai Peninsula, plus redeployment of other military and civilian facilities.
Weizman also expects to conclude agreements begun during Carter's visit here for long-term arms supplies.
Dayan's remarks were made today in a closed briefing of foreign ambassadors, and then related to reporters by a Foreign Ministry official.
Appearing before the Likud bloc of the Knesset, Dayan also disclosed that immediately after the treaty signing, Israeli ships will be allowed to pass through the Suez Canal, including Israeli naval vessels.
Under original terms of the treaty, Israeli passage in the canal was to have begun only after Israeli forces finished the first phase of their withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.
In the briefing, Dayan stressed that Israel is not asking for a defense treaty with the United States, adding that even if Egypt were to attack, Israel would not want U.S. troops to intervene. But, he noted, the heavy U.S. financial investment by itself will serve, in effect, to guarantee the treaty because the assistance could be withdrawn from any country violating the accord.
Dayan also disclosed that Egypt expects Israel to make some goodwill gestures, including release of some Palestinian prisoners who have not been brought to trial. There are 17 suspected terrorists held without charges in prisons inside Israel plus an unspecified number held for interrogation in lockups in the occupied territories.
Dayan did not say that Israel had offered to release Palestinian prisoners. But the fact that he mentioned it without being asked suggested that it is at least under consideration.
Israel yesterday exchanged 66 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier captured during the March 1978 invasion of southern Lebanon, but that swap is not believed to be connected with the goodwill gestures described by Dayan.
Israel also is said to be completing arrangements to trade Arab prisoners for bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in the Lebanon invasion.
It also has been reported that Israel is considering an earlier than scheduled return of the Sinai town of A1 Arish to Egypt as a gesture of good faith. Last year, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt suggested -- and Weizman supported -- returning A1 Arish as a symbolic step to give the peace talks momentum.
Dayan said Egypt also had asked for freedom of movement for Palestinians, as well as freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. He said Palestinians already have freedom of movement and that the Palestinian press will be subject only to the military censorship that applies to the Israeli press and foreign correspondents. As for assembly, Dayan said if meetings are held to advocate the liquidation of Israel, they would not be permitted.
He said Egypt also had asked for removal of the military governor's headquarters out of Gaza town before autonomy is implemented, locating it somewhere else in Gaza.
Dayan said the Israeli Cabinet has not yet taken up any of the requests for goodwill gestures, but that they will be considered.
News services reported from Cairo :
The Egyptian Cabinet unanimously approved the proposed peace treaty and echoed Sadat's declaration that "we have achieved peace." Each of the 31 Cabinet members at the four-hour session asserted to the peace package.
Sadat told American television network interviewers in answer to questions, "Yes, I hope to go to Washington next week. The invitations are not out yet. Invited or not, I am going to Washington."