UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Mar. 20)
The belief that the United Nations Security Council would not act on the Egyptian request for condemnation and sanctions against Israel in connection with the Gaza incident was expressed here today in evaluations of the report presented by Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, UN truce chief, to the Council last Thursday.
Non-Israel circles here are of the opinion that the Burns report makes it quite clear that incidents on the Arab-Israel border are unavoidable as long as the Arab countries refuse to negotiate peace with the Jewish State. In the light of the views expressed by Gen. Burns it is expected that the Security Council will adopt a resolution deploring the Gaza incident and urging Egypt and Israel to take measures to prevent new incidents.
It is no secret here that many of the Arab diplomats were stunned by the tone of Gen. Burns’ report, as well as by the contents of the document. The report placed the February 28 clash at Gaza in perspective against the tense border conflicts of the last few months. In his report, Gen. Burns not only indicated that Egypt was responsible for more aggressive acts than Israel, but he also showed that Egyptian officials admitted that some of the acts of “murder and sabotage” had indeed been committed by Arabs crossing the Israel borders.
The Council will meet again this week, probably Tuesday, when it will hear a statement from Israel’s chief of delegation, Abba S. Eban. Mr. Eban refused at Thursday’s meeting to make any comment, after Gen. Burns had reported and after the Burns report had been discussed by Eypt’s representative, Dr. Omar Loutfi. Mr. Eban’s maneuver of silence at Thursday’s Council session was highly commended by many observers here, who pointed out that there was really no need for the Israel diplomat to try to improve Israel’s position after the Council had heard the report by Gen. Burns.