U.N. Secretariat Disseminates Israel’s Complaint Against Egypt

The United Nations Secretariat today circulated among Security Council member delegations the Israeli request, submitted late yesterday, for an urgent meeting of the Council to consider the Egyptian blockade of the Suez Canal against Israel-bound shipping.

The Israel Government is seeking such a meeting in view of the “deliberate frustration of the purpose of the Security Council and of the orderly procedures of the Mixed Armistice Commission” by Egypt, the letter signed by Abba S. Eban, Israel delegate to the UN, said. Citing the report of Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, to the Council, outlining the policy of obfuscation in relation to the seizure of the Bat Galin and its crew upon which the Egyptian delegation to the MAC is embarked, Mr. Eban wrote:

“The Government of Egypt, after having presented a baseless complaint against Israel to the Mixed Armistice Commission, on the strength of which the Security Council deferred consideration of my government’s complaint against the persistent enforcement by Egypt of restrictions on the passage of ships of all nations through the Suez Canal, is now doing all in its power to prevent any discussion of its own complaint to the Commission.”

In his report, which was circulated here today by the Secretariat, Gen. Burns reviews the Egyptian request for an investigation by the MAC of the alleged attack by the Israeli merchant vessel on Egyptian fishermen and the Israeli request for an emergency session of the MAC to consider the Egyptian charges. Gen. Burns also reports that both sides received the reports of the UN investigating team which investigated the Israeli claim on October 10 and the Egyptian complaint October 10-16.

The Truce Supervisor notes the Egyptian assertions through two sessions of the MAC, October 21 and 23, that the meeting held on the Israeli claim was illegal or improperly called. He also reveals that on October 25 he had informal discussions with both delegations on this matter and discovered that the Egyptian position was unchanged. “I informed delegations I would report present situation to Security Council,” Gen. Burns’ cable to Mr. Hammarskjold reads. “Israel delegation has agreed to postpone meeting scheduled for 26 October which in present circumstances could serve no useful purpose.”

NEXT STORY