UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Aug. 21)
In spite of an Israeli request for an “urgent” meeting of the Security Council, where it is prepared to charge Syria in gravest tones with “grave aggression, ” all signs today pointed here to a delay in the convening of the Council until next week.
One excuse for delay was furnished by Syria, whose permanent representative here, Salah El-Dine Taeazi, filed a counter-complaint against Israel today, also asking for an urgent meeting of the Council. Syria alleged that an Israeli “force” attacked with automatic weapons from the demilitarized zone at Ashmura yesterday, and claimed that 15 Israeli armored cars were used in the attack. (An official spokesman for the Israeli Army in Jerusalem had already said, in reaction to earlier charges of such an attack made by the Syrian press, that “there is not a word of truth” in the accusation.) Syria also charged in its letter to the Security Council that Israel had concentrated troops on its border.
Another, and more important indication that delay is being invoked before the Council convenes was seen in a statement by a spokesman for the United States delegation here. The spokesman said his delegation would prefer “a breathing space at least until Monday” before the Council convenes on Israel’s grievance.
Meanwhile, Israel’s formal letter to the Security Council, calling for the urgent meeting, showed that Israel is using the sternest tones in its accusation against the Damascus Government. The letter, signed by Israel’s Acting Permanent Representative, Ambassador Joel Barromi, proposed that the forthcoming Council session adopt an agenda forthrightly accusing Syria of aggression in violation of the 1949 Israeli-Syrian armistice agreement.
LIST OF HOSTILE ACTS SINCE DECEMBER TO BE FURNISHED; COMAY RETURNS
The Israel letter further promised to furnish the 11 members of the Security Council with a detailed list of repeated Syrian aggressions since December 1962. That list, it was believed, was brought here by Israel’s delegation chairman, Ambassador Michael S. Comay, who interrupted his vacation in Israel yesterday to come here because of the Syrian crisis. Mr. Comay arrived in New York tonight, and went immediately into a series of top level conferences, in preparation for the Council meeting.
Israel’s formal letter of complaint specified Syria’s latest acts of aggression, and concluded with a statement of utmost gravity, declaring: “The continuance of the state of affairs described above has become intolerable to the Government of Israel, which is responsible for the protection of the lives and property of its citizens and the integrity of its borders. The Government of Israel, therefore, desires urgent consideration of this complaint by the Security Council in order that Syria should be condemned for the warlike and aggressive actions of its armed forces, and that all such acts should forthwith be brought to a halt. The Government of Israel wishes to draw the attention of the Security Council to the gravity of the situation and to the danger to the peace inherent in any further deterioration. “
One of Syria’s top representatives here conferred yesterday with Secretary General UThant. Today, Mr. Tarazi held a press conference at which he accused the Israel Government of having made “careful preparations” for its alleged armored attack yesterday against Syrian frontier forces. He charged that “every day, complaints against Israel have been made because of violations in the demilitarized zone, ” and said Israel had not respected the status of the demilitarized zone since 1951.
Asked why his Government had refused to release three Israelis captured last month on Lake Tiberias, while releasing three Belgians in the boat, he replied that this incident “had nothing to do with the current situation. “