Menu JTA Search

U.N. Resolution Would Condemn Murders, Indirectly Indict Syria

The United States and Great Britain submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council today which condemned the “wanton murder at Almagor, in Israel territory, of two Israel citizens on August 19,” but failed to condemn Syria, except by implication, for responsibility for the crime.

The joint resolution, however, “calls the attention of the Syrian Arab Republic to evidence in the Secretary-General’s report to the effect that those responsible for the killings appeared to have been an armed group who entered Israel territory from the direction of the Jordan River and afterwards left in the same direction.”

The draft further cleared Israel of charges pressed by Syria of an armored build-up in the demilitarized zone for aggressive purposes. It noted “with satisfaction that the report of the Secretary General indicates that although there was an exchange of fire, there was no substantial show of force in the demilitarized zone on August 20, 1963.”

After making these statements, the resolution appealed to both Syria and Israel to cooperate in the “early exchange of prisoners” as proposed by Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, Chief of Staff of the UN Truce Supervision Organization; called on both parties to cooperate fully with the UNTSO head, and requested the Secretary General to report to the Council by next December 31 “on the progress made in regard to the measures proposed by the chief of staff.”

DRAFT IS SETBACK FOR ARABS, SUBSTANTIAL ACHIEVEMENT FOR ISRAEL

The resolution, its major policies already endorsed on the Council floor by the representatives of France, Ghana and the Philippine Islands who had addressed the body, was seen by most observers here as a major setback for the Arab cause and a highly significant achievement for Israel.

The Soviet Union had put on a vigorous diplomatic drive to keep any resolution from being offered, insisting that the debate be culminated only through a summary of all statements by the president of the Security Council. The introduction of the draft this afternoon was the American-British answer to the USSR.

After failing to block introduction of the resolution the Russian delegation sparked a move to postpone voting on the draft until sometime next week. The actual proposal for such delay was made by Dey Ould Sidi Baba, of Morocco, who was supported by both the Soviet Union and Ghana. However, after Britain and the United States opposed delay, Sivert A. Nielsen, of Norway, president of the Council, suggested that the debate continue tomorrow morning “on the substance” of the issue at stake. After that debate, he said, the Council could decide on the “procedural” motion for delay in the voting. Mr. Nielsen’s suggestion was accepted, and he adjourned the session until tomorrow morning when Russia will be among the speakers “on the substance,” along with Venezuela and Norway.

FRENCH SEE CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALMAGOR MURDERS

Roger Seydoux, the French Ambassador, addressing the Council before the draft resolution was introduced, spoke out forcefully against the murder of the two Israeli youths at Almagor, noted that Gen. Bull had reported “physical evidence” pointing to the guilty parties, and indicated that he blamed Syria by stating “the responsibility for these two murders need hardly be discussed. ” He told the Council that the Syrian representative, who had spoken twice, “brought no new element” to the version of the murders given in the Bull report. The circumstances, surrounding the murders, he maintained, were “very comprehensive.” On the other hand, he noted, Syria had not proven its accusation of an Israeli military buildup on the border.

Alex Ouaison-Sackey, of Ghana, also held that the two Israeli farmers at Almagor had been killed by “persons who crossed the demilitarized zone” to enter Israel. He “deplored” those murders saying the Israeli youths were “innocent victims of a situation not of their own making. ” On the other hand, he said, there has been no proof of Syria’s charge that Israel had massed troops or impermissible armaments on its side of the border. The fact that the Bull report substantiated Israel’s (Continued on Page Four)

NEXT STORY