Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said tonight that he does not categorically reject that possibility that Israel will negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization, providing the PLO "will alter its goals."
In the second such hint this week Dayan said that if a change in the PLO will cease to be a military organization, that it will become a political framework, and that [this] political framework will alter its goals and will be ready to enter a general discussion . . ."
Dayan's remarks, made in a television interview recorded in New York and broadcast here in Hebrew on Israel television, suggested to some observers a possible softening of the Israel position toward negotiating with the PLO.
In previous statements, Dayan and Prime Minister Menachem Begin categorically have ruled out the possibility of any Israeli contact with the PLO, saying that it would be impossible for the PLO to recognize the existence of Israel and still continue to function as a Palestinian liberation movement.
On Monday, in an interview on NBC'S "Today" show, Dayan volunteered a similar hint of moderation, refusing under questioning to flatly dismiss the possibility of Israeli talks with the PLO.
Coupled with his recent meetings with the self-described supporters of the PLO on the West Bank, including one member of the Palestine Council, Dayan's remarks have given rise to speculation that he is signaling slightly nuanced shifts in policy as a prelude to a major shift in the Israeli position.
In April 1978, Dayan casually mentioned during a late night television program here that Israel might consider the West Bank coming under U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, a U.N. peace plan for the Middle East. The comment presaged a major shift in the Israeli position and paved the way for the reopening of the moribund Egyptian-Israeli peace talks, which led to the Camp David agreement.
In tonight's television comment, Dayan was asked what Israel would od if the PLO recognized the Jewish state's right to exist, a question that normally invokes a sharp reply that the PLO will never change and Israel will never talk with the guerilla organization.
However, Dayan tonight answered: "I don't want to reply to your question in the negative only. That is, if a change should come about, the change just be that the PLO will cease to be a military organization, that it will become a political framework, and that [this] political framework will alter its goals, and will be ready to enter a general discussion, let us say, on how to resolve the refugee problem -- and, as an illustration, that it will be ready to have the million Arab refugees of 1948, who are in Jordan, view Jordan as their permanent domicile."
Dayan added that he did not expect to see such a "revolution happen tomorrow," because the PLO would cease to retain its essential character as a movement to liberate all the territory that before 1948 was called Palestine.
news services reported these additional developments from the Middle East:
Two small bombs concealed in trash bins exploded at a crowded street corner in Tel Aviv Thursday evening. Authorities said seven persons were slightly injured in the blast in the heart of Tel Aviv's commercial district.
Egypt, Israel and the United Stated ended two days of talks in Alexandria, Egypt, Thursday without resolving their differences on Palestinian autonomy but agreed to continue to urge Palestinians to join the talks.