Arab ambassadors accredited to Washington asked the State Department yesterday to support quick action in the U.N. Security Council to protest Israeli activity in the West Bank.
Ambassador Omer Eissa of Sudan, chairman of the 16-nation Arab ambassadors' group, and Ambassador Clovis Maksoud of the League of Arab States presented the joint appeal to Deputy Secretary of State Walter J. Stoessel Jr.
The envoys also asked, according to Maksoud, that the United States exert its influence with Israel, including the enforcement of restrictions on the use of U.S. military supplies, to restrain Israeli policies on the West Bank.
While verbal U.S. expressions of regret about the troubles are welcome, Stoessel was told, they are not sufficient in view of a perception of virtually unlimited U.S. support for Israel.
The ambassadors, Maksoud said, also told Stoessel that Israeli actions in the West Bank represent "a qualitative change in policy," designed, they charged, to pave the way for annexation of the West Bank and Gaza and the replacement of Palestinian residents by Israeli settlers.
In a related development yesterday, Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. signed a document formally including the United States in the 2,500-man multinational force that is to patrol the Sinai after its return by Israel to Egypt next month.
U.S. troops will comprise about half of the total force.
At a signing ceremony, Haig said the document is "testimony to the continuing American support not just for the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel itself, but for the peace process."