Eban Returns from Israel; Will Discuss Syrian Situation in Washington

Ambassador Abba Eban emplaned yesterday for the United States where he will discuss the latest Syrian and other Middle East developments with top State Department officials who, meanwhile, have been studying the implications of the Loy Henderson report on the Syrian shift toward the left.

The impression here is that Israeli students of the Middle East believe that the United States must now take firm action if it wants to prevent the Soviet Union from consolidating its position in Syria and using it as a base for a new victorious round in the East-West struggle over the Middle East.

Western European diplomats here are of the opinion that United States inaction or partial action may have as deleterious an effect on the overall situation as Soviet positive attempts to spread Communist influence throughout the region. These diplomats feel that Syria’s economic ties with the West, its lack of a common border with the USSR and its being surrounded by anti-Communist neighbors gives Washington the edge over Moscow, if the advantage is not thrown away by default.

In the first incidents along the Syrian border since the political shift in Damascus several weeks ago, two Israeli settlers was wounded this week-end. One was driving a tractor near Kibbutz Dan when the machine struck a landmine and was damaged. The second Israeli was shot by Syrian troops from across the border when he came to investigate the first incident.

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