UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Aug. 25)
With a full report on the latest flare up of Syrian hostilities against Israel scheduled to be circulated here by Secretary-General U Thant tomorrow, the Security Council, which met Friday on Israel’s complaint of Syrian aggression and the Damascus Government’s counter-grievance, will meet Tuesday to resume discussion of the Israeli-Syrian issue.
The Council recessed after Friday’s meeting, following addresses by Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative here and Salah El Line Tarazi, Syria’s delegation chairman, Mr. Thant made a brief announcement to the effect that both Israel and Syria had agreed to observe a cease-fire, and he requested both governments “to exert every possible precaution to ensure that the cease-fire will be actually and fully observed, and to prevent the occurrence of any further incidents.” Norway’s Ambassador Sivert A. Nielsen, this month’s president of the Council, expressed a similar hope, declaring he was certain he was speaking for all the members of the 11-nation Council.
In his presentation of Israel’s case, triggered by the murder of two young Israeli farmers by Syrian soldiers who penetrated into Israeli territory near the settlement of Almogor, a week ago, Mr. Comay told the Council that Israeli citizens, particularly those living in proximity to the Syrian border, “want to know whether, indeed, there is no alternative for the monotonous and futile sequences of firing and complaint.”
The Israeli diplomat, on behalf of his Government, made an outright demand for a Security Council vote to condemn Syria. He accused Syria of deliberately creating a tense “war climate” so as to rally support from other Arab states “around the well worn banners of the battle against Israel.”
Mr. Comay denied categorically, as an allegation totally “without foundation in fact,” that Israel had concentrated troops along the Syrian border prior to the murder of the two youths at Almogor. It was that claim, announced 10 days earlier by the Damascus Government, that Syria used as the basis for its counter complaint against Israel.
MEETING SEEN AS TACTICAL VICTORY FOR ISRAEL; SYRIAN ABUSES COMAY
The Council session, limited chiefly to the addresses by Mr. Comay and Mr. Tarazi, evoked unusually active interest here, with the Council chamber crowded to capacity with diplomatic observers from about 100 member-states. The convening of the meeting during the weekend was seen as a tactical victory for Israel, since Syria, backed by a number of powerful delegations, had tried hard to postpone the opening of the session until this week. Israel had wanted an “urgent” meeting in the hope that the very opening of the Security Council debate on this issue would help ease tensions along the Syrian-Israeli border.
The visitors’ gallery overlooking the Council proceedings was as Jammed as was the Chamber floor. Mr. Tarazi tried in his address to play to that gallery, baiting the visitors and accusing them of being “in the pay of Mr. Comay.” He threw that angry charge because some visitors laughed derisively when the Syrian denied that the two murdered young Israelis near Almogor had been killed by anyone. He also compared Israel’s policies to those of Adolph Hitler, and used abusive language to Mr. Comay, calling the Israeli diplomat “a clown.”
In spite of Mr. Tarazi’s effort to provoke disorder, the meeting ended quietly with the announcement by Mr. Thant, and the endorsement of the Secretary General’s call for tranquility on the Syrian Israel border by Mr. Nielsen.
Today, the Secretary-General’s office announced that he had already received a report on last week’s Syrian-Israeli developments from Maj. Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of the United Nations Supervision Organization. It is that report that will form the basis for a report to the Security Council tomorrow by Mr. Thant. The members of the Council will have until tomorrow when they resume debate, to study the overall situation and perhaps plan for some action.