TEL AVIV (Jul. 29)
United Nations truce chief Gen. Vagn Bennike was today summoned to the government offices here to meet with Defense Minister Pinchas La von who explained to him that Israel will oppose any attempt to modify her complete sovereignty over Lake Kinneret. Political circles here believe that recent attempts by Syria to violate Israel’s sovereign rights to the Lake Kinneret, which several times went as far as small pitched battles, disclose an attempt by Syria–probably supported by certain foreign powers–to obtain a new interpretation of the Israel-Syrian armistice agreement. The purpose of such a new interpretation, these Israeli sources feel, would be to give Syria rights to fishing in the lake.
The international boundaries in the Kinneret region, which were endorsed by the Israel-Syrian armistice pact, set Israel’s territory along a line ten meters east of the lake shore, thus effectively vamoosing any claims Syria may have on the lake. The Syrians now claim that if they cross this 10-meter strip to get to the lake they are not violating the armistice agreement.
Israel has always opposed any attempts to change the status of the area. As recently as last March 15, the UN truce organization rejected a Syrian claim on this matter and upheld Israel’s sovereignty over the lake.