The Israeli government today called upon all European nations to close Palestine Liberation Organization offices in their capitals following yesterday's killing of an Israeli diplomat in Paris.
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, citing what he termed an "incessant chain of murders and terrorist actions" against Israeli targets in Europe, charged that many PLO offices in Europe "serve as bases of these activities."
Several ministers at a Cabinet meeting expressed the opinion that the shooting represented a serious violation of the July 24 cease-fire agreement between Israel and the PLO, which ended a three-month cross-border war of attrition last summer, Cabinet sources said.
The PLO denied responsibility for the Paris slaying, which was claimed by a group that identified itself as the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Brigades. The position of the Israeli government, however, has been that any terrorist operation launched by a Lebanese-based Palestinian organization--inside Israel or elsewhere--constitutes a violation of the cease-fire. Some Israeli officials have broadened that definition, warning that an attack by a European-based terrorist organization would constitute a violation because of the Lebanese-based training facilities that the PLO provides to European political extremists.
Israel has pledged to respect the cease-fire only as long as the Palestinians do not strike first.
Meanwhile, several hundred Israeli protesters remained in the Mediterranean resort town of Yamit in the occupied Sinai with no sign of a forcible eviction by Army troops four days after the deadline for evacuation of all settlers. The area is scheduled to be returned to Egypt April 25.
In a meeting in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon reportedly told militants opposing the withdrawal that no effort to evict the settlers would begin until after the week-long Passover holiday, which begins Wednesday night.
The Cabinet, meeting as a ministerial committee on security and defense, discussed the slaying of Yacov Barsimantov, second secretary in the Israeli Embassy in Paris, outside his home. No statement was issued on the shooting, and ministers were prohibited from speaking publicly about the deliberations because of censorship regulations.
Israeli officials reported six alleged cease-fire violations in recent weeks, in addition to the Paris murder: an attempted incursion into Israel on March 24 by guerrillas of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; a March 25 hand grenade attack in the Gaza Strip resulting in the death of an Israeli Army sergeant-major; a bombing attack on March 28 on Jewish-owned stores in Rome; an attempted bombing on the same day of a Rome branch office of the Israeli national airline El Al; a March 31 submachine gun attack on an Israeli arms purchasing office in Paris, also claimed by the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Brigades, in which no one was injured, and a hand grenade attack today in the Gaza Strip.
Military officials said seven Israelis were injured in Sunday's attack near the main square of Gaza City when Arab assailants hurled hand grenades at a van, The Associated Press reported.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry, Shamir said, "We have been witnessing an incessant chain of murders and terrorist actions in many countries, without any serious effort being made to counter it. We call on all governments to increase their efforts to wipe out these criminal activities, which are taking place under the cover of organizations which purport to be of a political character."