UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Aug. 31)
Israel today took directly to the Security Council its grievance over recent United Arab Republic violations of the principle of the freedom of passage through the Suez Canal.
Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s acting permanent representative here, sent a long letter to Armand Berard, of France, this months President of the Council, accusing the UAR of “continued acts of piracy” which according to the Israeli, place Egypt “in open challenge to the world community” and constitute a “constant threat to peace” in the Middle East.
The open complaint to the Council was made by the Israel representative after many months of discussions of the Israel complaints on the level of “quiet diplomacy.” Mr. Tekoah and his aides on the delegation have been in almost daily contact on the Suez issue since last February with Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and with other ranking members of the Secretariat.
Mr. Tekoah’s letter to M. Berard, which asked that the grievance be circulated to all members of the United Nations, included the Inge Toft case. “The detention of the Inge Toft appears to have been carried out as part of a systematic policy applied since early this year,” Mr. Tekoah asserted.
The complaint also gives details of the Israel export cargoes confiscated last March, as well as of the incidents that occurred within the last few days, when United Arab Republic officials removed a crate of scientific books and equipment destined for Israel from a Norwegian freighter passing through the Suez Canal, and also confiscated mail addressed to Israel which should, according to international practice, have been inviolate.
“Repeated efforts by the Secretary General of the United Nations and various powers interested in freedom of navigation have been frustrated by United Arab Republic intransigence, ” says the Israel letter, which charges the United Arab Republic with “violation of the United Nations Charter, Security Council decisions and general principles of international law by obstructing freedom of passage through the Suez Canal.”
“The United Arab Republic’s continued policy of arbitrary interference with freedom of navigation in the Canal reflects complete disregard for the principles of law and order in international relations, and places her in open challenge to the world community, ” the complaint emphasizes.