Security Council to Take Up Today Anti-israel Blockade of Suez
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Security Council to Take Up Today Anti-israel Blockade of Suez

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The United Nations Security Council will meet here tomorrow to take up Israel’s complaint against Egypt’s blockade of the Suez Canal in the light of the latest incident, the seizure by Egypt of the Israeli vessel “Bat Galim” in the Suez area.

However, it was predicted today by some observers here that the Security Council might postpone discussion on Israel’s renewed grievance against Egypt, since the Bat Galim incident is now under investigation by UN observers of the Palestine truce organization. The Egyptian Government has placed this incident on the agenda of the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission apparently to keep the issue out of the Security Council.

(In Israel, Gen. E.L. M. Burns, chief of the UN truce organization, was asked today by the Israeli Government to see to it that the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission disposes of the Bat Galim incident without delay. Israel is demanding the immediate return of the ship and the release of its captain and crew.)


Meanwhile, Arab delegates here, in an apparent effort to create an atmosphere of hostility toward Israel on the eve of the meeting of the Security Council, have started a “sniping” campaign against Israel in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which is now engaged in discussing the report of United Nations work on behalf of European refugees.

The brunt of the “sniping” is being borne by Mrs. Zena Harman, Israeli representative at the Third Committee–the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee–who told that body that the armies of five Arab states were responsible for the Arab refugee problem because of their armed attacks upon Israel. Mrs. Harman spoke in the discussion of the European refugee problem in answer to charges made in this committee by Muhammed H. El-Farra of Syria. The Syrian representative had asked that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provide full information on the number of refugees resettled in Israel since this “concerned the future of the Palestine Arab refugees, and the security of the area.”

In her answer Mrs. Harman pointed out that, in the last five years, Israel had received not only refugees from Europe but also 300, 000 Jewish immigrants from the Arab countries. The plight of the Arab refugees is entirely the fault of the Arab states, she said. The Syrian delegate, in a violent speech, declared that the Arab states had not attacked, they had only “intervened” in response to “Zionist terrorism and massacres. ” He insisted that “the joint Arab intervention” was the result of “attacks by the Stern gang.”

Mrs. Badia Afnan, representing Iraq in the committee, entered a bitter objection to Mrs. Harman’s characterization of the Jewish emigrants from Arab states as “refugees. ” She insisted that they had emigrated to Israel as a result of “Zionist political ambitions. ” The net effect of these attacks, it was felt here today, was negative, as far as the Arab bloc was concerned.

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