WASHINGTON (Dec. 12)
The State Department indicated today that the U.S. Government is awaiting an official report through American diplomatic channels on the clash between Israel and Syria yesterday during which 55 Syrians and four Israelis were reported killed. The clash was precipitated by Syrian bombardment of Israel fishing boats.
In the meantime, State Department officials expressed regret over the loss of life in the battle. Regret was also expressed by the French Government, according to information arriving here from Paris. A spokesman for the French Foreign Office said France “deplores the Israel initiative” and regrets especially the fact that the Israel action “was directed against Syria, a country to which France is asked by a strong friendship.”
A delegation of diplomats representing eight Arab countries conferred today with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles for more than an hour. The delegation included diplomatic representatives of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Libya. Syrian Ambassador Farid Zeinedine told newsmen after leaving the State Department that the delegation had asked Secretary Dulles to take action against Israel for yesterday’s reprisal raid into Syria as well as to deny arms to Israel.
Iraqi Ambassador Moussa AI-Shabandar said that Secretary Dulles told the delegation that the United States is for “friendly impartiality vis-a-vis the Arab States and others The Ambassador said the Arab told Mr. Dulles that American-Arab relations were “unfortunately suffering from the behavior of Israel and Zionist organizations in the United States which are encouraging Israel” to the detriment of Arab-American relations.