JERUSALEM (Aug. 23)
High officials here today expressed the opinion that the current week will show whether Syrian threats against Israel are part of a war of nerves or are the forerunners of a campaign of planned Syrian aggression.
Official circles here are of the opinion that Syria would not dare to get into open warfare with Israel. However, Syria may start a wave of intensified guerrilla-type terrorist violence in Israel. Asked whether, in the face of the Syrian threats of war, Israel would request a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the officials said that this would depend on whether there was evidence that these threats constituted more than a war of nerves.
The official sources discounted the possibility that the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization could undertake the recovery of the Syrian MIG-17 jet fighter which was shot down by Israel into Lake Tiberias last week. They expressed doubt whether the UNTSO had the necessary equipment for such an operation. At the same time it was indi- cated by the same sources that Israel would certainly not provoke any incident and wished, if possible, to avoid complications over the delayed salvage of the Israeli police boat marooned on a Lake Tiberias sandbar, following the Syrian attack on it last Monday. It was hoped here that Syria would revert to its original agreement, given to the UNTSO last Wednesday, not to interfere with Israel’s salvaging — together with the UNTSO — of the Syrian MIG, after which it would be returned to Syria.