Big Three Resolution Censures Israel on Kibya Incident

A draft resolution condemning the “retaliatory action at Kibya taken by armed forces of Israel” was submitted to the Security Council today by Britain, France and the United States.

The draft expresses “the strongest censure of that action which can only prejudice the chances of a peaceful settlement which both parties in accordance with the Charter are bound to seek, and calls upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future.”

The proposed resolution also takes note that “there is substantial evidence of crossing of the demarcation line by unauthorized persons often resulting in acts of violence, and requests the Government of Jordan to continue and strengthen the measures which they are already taking to prevent such crossing.”

It also reminds both Israel and Jordan of their obligations to prevent all acts of violence on either side of the demarcation line and calls on both governments “to ensure the effective cooperation of local security forces.”

TELLS JORDAN AND ISRAEL TO OBSERVE ARMISTICE

The proposed resolution calls on both parties to “abide by their obligations under the general armistice agrement and the resolutions of the Security Council” and points out that this is essential “in order to achieve progress by peaceful means towards a lasting settlement of the issues outstanding between them.” It calls on both to cooperate fully with the UN truce supervisor and requests him to report back to the Council within three months “with such recommendations as he may consider appropriate on compliance with and enforcement of the general armistice agreements, with particular reference to the provisions of this resolution.”

While the draft resolution thus charges Israel with a violation of the cease-fire and of the general armistice agreement, observers here pointed out that the resolution, by referring to “retaliatory action” implicitly recognized the existence of provocation for the incident as argued by Israel. Further, they said, by referring to the Kibya incident “and all such actions,” the draft took cognizance of Israel’s insistence that the Kibya affair should not be treated in isolation but as one episode in a long series of incidents.

Arab spokesmen were expected to raise strong objections to the draft resolution for its failure to put teeth into the censure of Israel. Arab representatives before the Security Council had demanded that the Council call on Israel to put those responsible for the Kibya incident on trial and to punish them and had also demanded that the Council order Israel to pay compensation to those suffering loss and injury in the Kibya raid. Neither demand was incorporated into the draft resolution.

The Israelis were expected to fight against any form of censure by the Council. They were also keenly disappointed by the failure of the resolution to make any strong gesture towards bringing about direct negotiations for a peace settlement, and particularly by its failure to take note of Israel’s bid for direct high level talks with Jordan leading to a settlement of all issues.

Instead of making a bold move towards an overall peace settlement in Palestine, the three-power draft resolution envisages merely continuation of the present armistice agreements and Jordan-Israel talks on the level of local commanders along the frontiers.

EBAN CRITICIZES BIG THREE RESOLUTION

Criticism of the draft resolution was voiced today by Israel Ambassador Abba S. Eban at a luncheon given him by the UN correspondents. He particularly deplored the failure of the resolution to affirm the need for peace in the area.

The Israel envoy remarked pointedly that his government would have “to consider whether to take diplomatic initiative to focus public attention on the distorted situation in our area.” Reviewing the Security Council’s handling of the Palestine situation, Mr. Eban pointed out that the Council concentrated on “symptoms” and ignored the “disease.” This he described as disappointing and a defect in the UN’s collective security system.

The Israeli delegate warned that the situation in Palestine could deteriorate further. He said “any impression of discrimination would have the most unfortunate effect,” The present armistice agreements, he noted, had been meant to last for only a few months and he said they could not long remain the basis for any stability in Palestine. He termed the Israeli offer to meet with the Jordanians an interesting test for the Security Council.

Dealing with the Syrian complaint against Israel for proceeding with a hydro-electric development in the demilitarized zone, Mr. Eban called the Syrian move “the greatest hoax played on the international community.”

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