Secretary of State James A. Baker III yesterday firmly rejected as "the siren song" of appeasement suggestions that the United States should seek a compromise solution to the Persian Gulf crisis permitting Iraq to keep some of Kuwait's strategic islands and oil fields in exchange for withdrawing from the rest of its tiny neighbor.

Baker also kept up U.S. pressure on Israel to reconsider its refusal to cooperate with a U.N. inquiry into last week's killing of 19 Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem and thereby allow the United Nations to turn its attention back to ending the occupation of Kuwait.

"It would be good if Israel would admit the U.N. secretary general's representative," Baker said. "Not to admit the mission, we think, moves Israel and moves our effort in the gulf in the wrong direction."

Baker, in a news conference, made clear that forcing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to pull his troops out of Kuwait remains the top goal of U.S. diplomacy. He stressed that the Bush administration is not prepared to consider a "negotiated arrangement that would enable {Saddam} to claim benefits from his unprovoked aggression."

Sheik Saad Abdullah Sabah, Kuwait's deposed crown prince and prime minister, said yesterday in Saudi Arabia that his government would not give up "an inch of the land of Kuwait" in a negotiated settlement.

Suggestions that the international community might agree to such a deal to avoid a Middle East war intensified after the Soviet news agency, Novosti, reported Sunday that Saddam hinted at a pullout during talks last week with special Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov. Novosti said Saddam in return wanted the Rumaila oil field on the Iraq-Kuwait border and the strategic islands of Warba and Bubiyan.

Speculation that Iraq might be probing the possibilities of such a deal intensified yesterday after disclosure of a Primakov mission to Rome, Paris and Washington for gulf crisis discussions. A Soviet spokesman said Primakov and President Bush will meet here.

However, Baker, who has talked with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze about Primakov's visit to Baghdad, cast doubt yesterday that Saddam had made such proposals to the Soviets.

"I'm not sure that I can confirm to you that the suggestion was made to Primakov," Baker said. "Shevardnadze has remained as solid as the United States on the issue of no partial solutions. . . . I think the Soviet Union is still committed to full implementation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding unconditional Iraqi withdrawal and restoration of Kuwait sovereignty.

"It's a case of not wanting to succumb to the siren song of a partial solution," Baker insisted. "It's our position that {Saddam} should not in any way be rewarded for his aggression. We made this mistake in the 1930s. . . . We remember what happened in Ethiopia and . . . Europe when we refused to take a principled stand."

Baker said the United States instead wants to pursue new Security Council resolutions focusing "on the continuing rape of Kuwait, {and} the plight of foreign nationals . . . held hostage in Iraq."

He said the United States seeks agreement among the 15 council members on a resolution to allow resupply of food and water to the U.S. Embassy and other foreign missions cordoned off in Kuwait City by Iraq to force their closing. He said the United States also wants to discuss other proposed resolutions demanding reparations from Iraq for pillaging Kuwaiti property and affixing war-crimes responsibility for atrocities there after the Aug. 2 invasion.

Kuwaiti Sheik Sabah, speaking

to reporters in Jiddah, said, "I'm declaring here we do not accept any initiative which is not {in line with} resolutions" that call for Iraq's unconditional withdrawal.

Sabah said various recent proposals to resolve the crisis "all have the objective of diluting the situation and diverting the interest of the world and giving Saddam further time. Therefore we reject such initiatives."

The new tensions in the longstanding U.S.-Israeli relationship stem in part from Washington's concern that Israel's refusal to accept the U.N. investigating mission will prevent the Security Council from turning its attention back to the gulf crisis while it deals with new demands from Palestinian supporters for action against Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's government bitterly criticized the United States for supporting last Friday's Security Council resolution condemning Israel for excessive force in the killing of 19 Palestinians during an Oct. 8 rock-throwing riot and backing an emissary's mission to Israel to investigate the deaths and the situation of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

However, Baker made clear yesterday that he and Bush will keep pressing the Israeli government to rescind its decision Sunday not to cooperate with the United Nations. Baker denied strongly that the United States supported the resolution because it feared that failure to condemn Israel would strain the U.S.-supported coalition of Arab countries opposing Iraq. He said:

"The United States would have voted for this resolution if there had been no gulf crisis, and the suggestion that somehow we are voting to condemn the killings that took place and the injuring of some 150 others through live fire simply because we want to maintain a coalition on the gulf is not accurate."

Baker dodged a direct answer to questions about whether Israel's pledge not to use a $400 million U.S. housing guarantee to settle Soviet Jewish emigres in the occupied territories might be violated by an Israeli cabinet panel's decision to encourage their settlement in East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Baker read a letter from Foreign Minister David Levy saying Israel does not intend to settle Soviet Jews beyond the "green line" delineating the territory not under Israeli control before 1967. However, Israel claims that all of Jerusalem is the historic capital of the Jewish state, and it does not recognize Arab East Jerusalem as being beyond the green line.

Staff writer Caryle Murphy contributed to this report from Jiddah.