JERUSALEM (Jul. 2)
There is little chance that Israel will acquiesce on three basic requests made by Col. Byron Leary, acting chief of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization, in his report yesterday on the situation in the Israeli-Syrian demilitarized zone, political observers here indicated today.
Officially, Israeli sources declined to comment on the report, which was critical of Israeli actions in the zone, pointing out only that the Israel Government was ready to discuss with Col. Leary the “practical issues” raised in the report submitted by UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold to the Security Council yesterday.
The disputed issues were those of unlimited freedom for UN observers; stationing UN observers in the zone; and destruction of some Israeli fortifications. Fear that granting of special rights to UN observers in the zone would weaken Israel’s authority over the area was reported to be the basis for Israel’s resistance to that proposal.
The political observers also said that freedom of movement for UN observers could not be interpreted as a right of movement without clearance from Israeli authorities and without Israeli officers’ escort. The point at issue on the fortifications, these observers said, was not whether Israel had the right to establish fortifications to protect the lives of local inhabitants, which was not disputed in Col. Leary’s report, but only the question of what constituted the minimum fortifications needed.