Calling the massacre of Palestinian civilians in West Beirut "extremely shocking and stunning," King Hussein of Jordan said today that he would not enter into peace negotiations with the present leadership of Israel, whose prime minister, Menachem Begin, he described as a "master terrorist."
He also charged that the United States had a "direct moral responsiblity" for what had happened in Beirut and that it had created in Israel "a monster" with unlimited U.S. military support for the Jewish state.
Hussein said he was in favor of the peace negotiations proposed by President Reagan, but he said he would not agree to hold talks within the framework of the Camp David accords, which initially had excluded Jordan.
He asked instead for a dialogue with Washington to discuss "the many positive elements" he saw in the president's Sept. 1 Middle East speech calling for a federation linking a self-governing Palestinian entity to Jordan.
Speaking in an interview with The Washington Post and the Financial Times of London, the Jordanian monarch indicated he was pessimistic about any chances for holding negotiations while Begin and Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon remained in power. But he hailed the evolution in the U.S. stand toward the region as well as the peace plan adopted by Arab leaders at their recent summit in Morocco.
Asked if point seven of the Morocco plan, calling for guarantees for peace among all states of the region, amounted to Arab recognition of Israel, the monarch replied without hesitation, "To my way of thinking it certainly does. It defines which Israel we are talking of recognizing and this has always been a question that we have posed."
The Arab plan calls on Israel to withdraw from all lands it occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war -- the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem.
King Hussein said he would do everything in his power to push forward the peace process, but he remarked that he would not get involved in talks on Palestininan autonomy unless he received a special mandate to do so from the Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The king seemed to be in a mixed mood of great hope and apprehension about the future of the region and about Jordan's ability to survive in the midst of what he clearly saw as a mounting danger to his kingdom from Israel.
He said he nonetheless was determined to play an active role in the next phase of the American-sponsored search for a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement.
In outlining a sequence of how to proceed, he said the Arabs would first have to take their plan to the U.N. General Assembly, then discuss it and other recently proposed peace plans in Washington and other world capitals. At the same time, he said, Jordan could carry on bilateral talks with the PLO about a plan for a Jordanian-Palestinian federation such as that proposed by President Reagan.
Hussein, in expressing outrage over the massacres in Beirut, said Begin had been responsible personally for a massacre of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin in 1948 and Sharon for a similar action at the village of Qibya in 1953 inside present-day Israel. The king said he had walked through the ruins of Qibya, located in the Judean hills between Jerusalem and Hebron, "and I saw the atrocities committed against innocent people there myself, and the memory is very much in mind, the horror of it all.
"Now it has happened in Beirut. I believe the architects are the same, the people who executed this action are members of the same school of terrorism," he added.
He charged that the Begin government, by its action, was trying to force Palestinians to flee from Beirut and to discredit the United States among Arabs. "It seems to be aimed at Arab public opinion, to force them into a negative attitude toward the United States in terms of the credibility of the United States in any commitments they make," he said.
Asked how the massacres affected his attitude toward negotiations, he replied:
"I've never had any idea of holding negotiations with the Begin government based on what I've seen, what we have lived through in this area, of their attitude throughout and of their actions in the occupied territories," he said. "In any event, they have made it clear time and again that in their view Jordan is Palestine and the territories under occupation are theirs."
"So there has never been any room to consider involvement in any negotiations," he said.
He accused Israel of destroying the Camp David peace process. "It was hardly a matter of days after the accord was signed before settlements began and continued, and to every American attempt to put an end to that . . . the Israeli response was to accelerate their movements in that area. Camp David may have achieved something in terms of Sinai and the Egyptian territory that was occupied. But it certainly gave Israel a chance to cause far more damage to the possibilities of peace than at any previous phase or stage," he said.
Hussein sidestepped a question about whether he regarded President Reagan's peace plan as a new framework for talks that could replace the Camp David provisions for negotiating the Palestinian issue.
Also left unclear was how much latitude the king feels he has to undertake negotiations alone on the Palestinian issue. He said that he was bound by the Arab resolution adopted at the Rabat summit in 1974 recognizing the PLO as the "sole, legitimate representative" of the Palestinian people.
"But the PLO and Jordan feel that it is time that we formulate our relations," he said. "If we succeed in putting together this concept of a federation and then announcing it to the world, it will have to be followed at a suitable time and under suitable conditions by a plebiscite."
The king thus apparently hopes to use a PLO-Jordanian agreement as a means for obtaining an Arab mandate to carry on negotiations on a comprehensive settlement at least with the United States.
He insisted that he "must" have that mandate, saying that unless the Arab states changed their position on the PLO, "I cannot move."
Hussein described the Arab peace plan adopted two weeks ago in Morocco as a very positive step "if you consider the Arab world such as it is.
"I believe that we have for the first time something that we can present to the world and which I believe is recognized as a just and constructive approach and meets the approval of the majority within this world," he said.
As to how the United States should deal with Israel, Hussein said the United States has "a very major role" in curbing Israel. "After all, if one could describe it, this is a monster that to a very large extent has been created with the help, assistance, armament and weaponry of the United States . . . .
"If the United States continues to help in the same way, it must assume direct moral responsibility for all of Israel's actions," he said.