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U.N. Starts Debate Today on Syrian Complaint Against Israel

The Security Council will meet here tomorrow morning to debate a Syrian complaint against Israel, which, according to Israeli sources, “can only be regarded as frivolous” and as a further step in a series of moves begun by Syria in 1951 to halt Israeli development work which has already been approved by the Council.

The current Syrian complaint, specifically, seeks an order that Israel dismantle a Bailey bridge it built recently across the southern part of the Lake Huleh swamps. The bridge had been constructed to facilitate the moving of heavy machinery needed to complete swamp-drainage work in the area. Col. Byron V. Leary, acting chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, inspected the bridge personally last month and refused to heed the request from the Damascus Government that he order dismantling of the span. The structure is in a zone which had been demilitarized under the 1949 Syrian-Israeli armistice agreement.

Diplomatic observers here were of the opinion that the new Syrian complaint is, in reality, a grievance against Ccl. Leary, whom the complaint accuses of conclusions which “do not correspond to the facts.” Syria is not expected to try to introduce a resolution ordering Israel to dismantle the bridge. If such a resolution were to be presented, the likelihood is that it would not obtain the necessary seven-vote quorum, since the United States, Britain and France are quite certain either to abstain or, in the case of France and Britain, possibly to veto such a resolution.

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