LONDON (Jul. 29)
British representatives at the United Nations are “in touch with United Nations authorities” in New York about the recent border clashes between Syria and Israel, a spokesman for the Government told the House of Commons today. He asserted that the incidents are now being investigated by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, and that “a report to the authorities concerned” will be submitted by UNTSO.
The statement was made by Minister of State, Robert Mathew, in answer to a question by Eric Johnson, a Conservative member of Parliament. “What are the British representatives in the United Nations Security Council doing in regard to the unprovoked attacks made by Syrian forces against Israeli police and civilians inside Israel territory on July 2 and July 6?” the British deputy asked.
In his reply, Mr. Mathew pointed out that, while both Israel and Syria had submitted letters on these incidents to the Security Council, neither of the members had requested that the Council hold a meeting on the issue. He stated that the two Governments had given “conflicting accounts” regarding the incidents.
(Israel had complained formally to the U.N. Security Council about Syria’s latest series of aggressions, charging that Syria had carried out 29 shooting attacks against Israel during a four-week period ending July 6. Later, the U.N. Syrian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission issued a report stating that “both sides” had fired. Israel maintained it returned the fire only twice during the 29 attacks, and rejected the MAC’s report because it did not indicate which side had started the firing.)