TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
Premier Levi Eshkol warned Syria today that Israel’s restraint in the face of new Syrian border attacks was not a sign of weakness.
Speaking to a graduation parade of Air Cadets on Air Force Day, at an undisclosed air base, Mr. Eshkol, who is also Defense Minister, said that Israel demanded that United Nations Truce Supervisory officials “keep their eyes open and see who actually is provoking border incidents, and who is interested in provoking such incidents.” The Israel Foreign Ministry this week rejected a report by the U. N. Syrian-Israeli Mixed Armistice Commission on recent Syrian border incidents which sought to “balance” the picture by saying that “both sides” fired, without stating which side had opened the attacks.
“Even if we do not hurry to react to their activity, ” the Premier told the cadets, “our enemies should not make the mistake of thinking that we do not foster our strength and that we do not have the strength to prevent incidents when they are overdone.”
He spoke of Israel’s deterrent power as a means of averting war, and said: “While our neighbors continue to wave war declarations, it is not our way to wave our military strength and to remind the threatening rulers of the existence and strength of our power.”
The Air Force put on a display of exceptional precision and maneuverability of various types of its jet planes. These included Ouraganes, Voutours, Mysteres and Super-Mysteres. The display was climaxed by a flight of Mirage jets, Fouga jet trainers, Nord carriers and helicopters.