Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said yesterday that Egypt has been passing minutes of Egyptian-Israeli negotiations on Palestinian autonomy to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Begin, meeting with Israel diplomatic correspondents, said that he learned on Saturday that former Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil said in London that the PLO was getting "a full rundown on the talks, through an intermediary." He hinted that with this information, the PLO was directing Egypt's demands in the negotiations.
"We are negotiating with Egypt, never the PLO," Begin told Israeli reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Washington Post correspondent William Claiborne reported Begin as saying that disclosure of the PLO access to the minutes of the talks explained why Egypt had demanded that legislative, judicial and executive powers be handed to the proposed autonomous council for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel has proposed that the council have limited administrative powers.
Israeli sources said Begin protested Egypt's disclosure to U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis yesterday. The United States brought Egypt and Israel together in the talks.
Begin also said he had no evidence that the Jordanian government knew about Saturday's border crossing into the Negev Desert by a Palestinian guerrilla squad. An Israeli Army patrol briefly pursued the guerrillas into Jordanian territory, killing two and wounding two others, according to military authorities.
In his capacity as defense minister, Begin told the Cabinet that intelligence reports indicated Jordan has persistently tried to prevent the launching of PLO attacks.
Infiltrations from Jordan have been rare since 1970, when the Jordanian Army expelled the Palestinian guerrillas. There have been several attempted crossings in the last year.
Begin condemned last week's U.N. Security Council resolution deploring the bombing assassination attempts against three West Bank mayors. He said the resolution failed to mention the many terrorist "atrocities" against Israel.