UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Nov. 15)
After a weekend of terror on Israel’s northern border, during which Syrian mortar and machinegun fire aimed at Israeli settlements killed three Israelis and wounded Il, five of these seriously, while Israel jet planes replied by knocking out at least two Syrian tanks and other gun posts, Israel today filed a complaint with the Security Council here, charging Syria with:
“1. Repeated acts of aggression committed by Syrian armed forces against citizens and territory of Israel in violation of the General Armistice Agreement, culminating in the Syrian attack on November 13, 1964.
“2. Threats by official spokesmen of the Syrian Government against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, in violation of the United Nations Charter.”
The Israel complaint followed one filed on behalf of Syria by its Ambassador here, Rafik Asha, who accused Israel of “aggression.” Both complaints, addressed to Adlai E, Stevenson, chairman of the United States delegation and this month’s president of the Security Council, requested “urgent” meetings of the 11-man body. Mr. Stevenson summoned the Council to meet at 3 p.m. tomorrow.
Today’s letter to Mr. Stevenson, requesting the meeting of the Council, was an extension of a lengthy letter addressed to the American last night by Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative here, which detailed the events that transpired on the Syrian-Israeli border Friday.
PLANES SENT UP AS LAST RESORT AFTER SYRIA REFUSES TO HALT FIRE
According to Mr. Comay, the Syrians opened fire suddenly, in broad daylight, along an Israeli border track northeast of Kibbutz Dan. Two tanks Joined the Syrian attack and, in order to extricate the Israeli patrol, Israel returned the fire. Then, according to Mr. Comay, “fortified Syrian army positions on the hilltops of Tel el-Hamra opened artillery and heavy mortar bombardment of the Israel village of Shear Yashuv and Kibbutz Dan, which are respectively 1, 700 and 500 meters on the Israel side of the border, Other Syrian fortified gun emplacements on the high ground further back from these hilltops joined in the bombardment. Fire was returned in an effort to silence the Syrian guns.”
It was only after Israel complained to military observers representing the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, and the UN military observers had twice requested Syria to cease fire–which Syria ignored–that Israel sent its planes into the air against the Syrian posts. (A report from Syria claimed that seven Syrians were killed and 36 wounded by Israel’s counter-attack.)
Mr. Comay made it clear that “the employment of Israel’s planes was a last resort, as an emergency defense measure” and “must be understood in relation to the nature of the terrain.” He pointed out that the terrain is such that there is no other way for Israel to defend itself under the circum stances existent on Friday.
ACCUSES SYRIA OF FLOUTING PROMISES TO U.N. TO STOP ATTACKS
Mr. Comay also noted that Maj. Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of UNTSO, has of late taken up with the Syrian authorities the issue of their shooting at Israelis, and had obtained from them promises that such attacks would cease. “The solemn Syrian assurances, ” he stated, were “flouted and violated.” He also noted the falsity of a claim by the Syrians that the border track first attacked on Friday was in their territory. A team from UNTSO had only recently established that the track was inside Israeli territory, he reported.
The Israeli Ambassador related the weekend attack to Syria’s leadership among the Arab states to speed a united Arab attack against Israel, before, during and since the summit meeting of Arab states held in September at Alexandria, Egypt. He cited statements by leaders of the Syrian Government calling for aggression against Israel, and based the second point of his Security Council complaint on those statements. He informed the Council that “the Government of Israel cannot abrogate its duty to defend the lives and property of its citizens, and the integrity of its territory.”
He also informed the Council that “immediately after the incident of Nov. 13, the Government of Israel submitted an official complaint to the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission, and requested an investigation which has since been proceeding.”