Security Council Votes ‘strongest Censure’ of Israel for Kibya Raid
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Security Council Votes ‘strongest Censure’ of Israel for Kibya Raid

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A resolution expressing the “strongest censure” of Israel for the “retaliatory action at Kibya taken by armed forces of Israel” was adopted by the United Nations Security Council tonight by nine votes in favor, with the Soviet Union and The Lebanon abstaining.

The resolution, severest criticism of a state ever voiced by a Security Council resolution, was adopted over a last-minute plea by Abba S. Eban, Israeli delegate, to shelve the resolution so as not to prejudice or foredoom the outcome of face-to-face talks between Israel and Jordan which are to follow Israel’s invocation of Article XII of the Israel-Jordan armistice agreement.

Mr. Eban warned the Council that the resolution, which he called “loud in words but not in deeds,” would put “a strain on a security situation already imperilled” and aggravate a situation that was already acute.

The only concession to Mr. Eban’s warning and to his announcement that Israel had invoked the armistice clause making a face-to-face meeting mandatory was the addition by the British, French and Americans of a clause to their draft resolution formally taking note of the Israeli move and instructing Maj. Gen. Vagn Bennike, UN truce supervision chief, in the report he is to submit within three months, to take into account any agreement reached at the Israel-Jordan conference.

M. Henri Hoppenot, French delegate and chairman of the Council, speaking for the Big Three sponsors, rejected Mr. Eban’s criticism of the resolution which he defended as moderate and impartial. The Lebanon abstained from voting because it considered the resolution too mild.

The resolution censures Israel for the Kibya raid, rejecting Israel’s insistence that the raid was conducted by Israeli settlers and not by regular Army units, and “calls upon” Israel to take effective measures to prevent such actions in the future.

It “requests” the Jordan Government to “continue and strengthen” measures to prevent infiltration and reminds both governments of their obligations to prevent all acts of violence and tells them to ensure the effective cooperation of local security forces, and to cooperate with the UN chief of staff who is to report back to the Council within three months on the situation.

In his speech before the Council tonight, Mr. Eban bitterly commented on the use of language employed in reference to Israel and Jordan, asserting that in addressing Israel, the resolution used “mandatory” language while in addressing Jordan, it used the “language of recommendations.”


In a detailed point-by-point analysis of the Big Three resolution, Mr. Eban scathingly pointed to its failure to utter any word of sympathy for Israeli victims of Arab attacks or of condemnation for Arab lawlessness which had preceded the Kibya raid. He denounced the failure of the Big Three to include any call for a peace settlement and charged that the resolutions sponsors had deliberately omitted such a call because it would not be received well by the Arab States. The resolution, he said, would not alleviate, but aggravate the already savage tensions in the area.

The Israeli delegate spoke 24 hours after Israel’s invocation of Article XII of the Israel-Jordan armistice which calls for mandatory, direct meeting to review the workings of the armistice agreement. He addressed the Council a few moments after his return from Washington where he had discussed Israel’s dramatic move with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

The Arab policy of “ostracism and non-contact” comes to an end with the invocation of this conference, Mr. Eban told the Council. He declared that Israel had the juridical right to summon all other Arab States signatory to armistice agreements to direct conference and implied that Israel, in the interests of abating the crisis in the Middle East, might follow that procedure. Under the terms of the armistice agreements, he commented, the Arab States did not have the sovereign right to refuse to talk with Israel.

The Security Council was confronted with two schools of thought in the British-French-American resolution and the Israeli invocation of Article XII of the Israel-Jordan armistice, Mr. Eban declared.

The resolution, he pointed out, concerned itself with “violent and turbulent events” of the recent past and made no proposals except those which had proven” notably ineffective in the past.” He called it a marked retreat from the Council’s past policy of negotiated settlement.

Israel’s “crucial initiative,” on the contrary, Mr. Eban declared, proposed use of the grim lessons of the past as a guide to the future. The proposal, he declared, involves “a bold leap into the future.”

There was, he warned the Council, no radical method of improving conditions in the Middle East except by direct negotiation and he declared that the issues involved were more readily susceptible to direct talk than through the intermediary of a third party.

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