Israel Demands U.N. Action to Halt Syrian Instigation of Terrorism
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Israel Demands U.N. Action to Halt Syrian Instigation of Terrorism

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In a series of swift, urgent moves today — including meetings with Secretary General U Thant and Lord Caradon of Britain, this month’s president of the Security Council, a letter to the entire membership of the Security Council, and a heavily attended press conference here — Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban called upon the international community to take immediate and “urgent” action to persuade Syria to halt its attacks against Israel without recourse to lengthy debates. Mr. Eban declared that he has requested “immediate action, today and tomorrow.”

In the letter to the Security Council, signed by Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative here, the 15-member body was told: “My Government must reaffirm its duty to take whatever measures may be necessary for the defense of its citizens and the integrity of its borders.”

Mr. Eban said he had informed the Secretary General and Lord Caradon that Israel views the latest series of El Fatah attacks, in Jerusalem and at Shaar Hagolan, in northern Israel, resulting in four deaths and six other casualties, as having been definitely “promoted, instigated and executed by the Syrian Government.”


Mr. Eban charged that “Syria is trying to embroil the other Arab governments, especially Jordan,” in the expansion and broadening of the tensions on the Israeli borders. “The Arab frontiers facing Israel are always just as turbulent or just as quiet as the Arab governments want them to be,” Mr. Eban said. “On the Syrian frontier, we believe, there is a desire to keep the borders in turbulence. By any definition, this is a serious international situation.”

The letter to the Security Council did not request a meeting of the body, Mr. Eban said, in reply to questions as to why Israel is not seeking a Council meeting at this time: “We have neither ruled out nor have we decided on whether or not to request a meeting of the Council. That will depend on how the situation develops. Our need is for urgent action, today and tomorrow. We must have urgent action, speedy action, unimpeded by debate.”

When asked what form of international action Israel is seeking, Mr. Eban declared: “The Secretary General has a special status in relation to the entire situation because the United Nations had participated in the negotiations for the conclusion of the Armistice Agreements in 1949, including our Armistice Agreement with Syria. Under that agreement, Syria has a legal obligation to prevent — I repeat, to prevent — the continued terrorist incursions into our territory.

“Syria has made no secret of the fact that it is tied intimately to the El Fatah raids. The Damascus Radio interrupted a regular broadcast on October 9 by reading ‘Communique No. 53 of the General Staff of El-Assefa (El Fatah), ‘reporting the explosions under an apartment house on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It is significant to note that the Damascus Radio is government-owned and that the details it reported in the El Fatah ‘communique’ were absolutely accurate.”


Mr. Eban said he will continue his conversations with other members of the Security Council. Asked whether he will also discuss the matter with the Soviet representative here, he replied emphatically: “Yes.”

Within an hour after Mr. Eban conferred with U Thant, the Secretary General requested George J. Tomeh, Syria’s permanent representative here, to meet with him later this afternoon.

Immediately after his press conference, at which he announced his series of moves regarding the Syrian situation, Mr. Eban was host at a luncheon for 30 Foreign Ministers and delegation heads from around the world attending the current session of the General Assembly. Included among his guests was Chief S.O. Adebo, of Nigeria, president of last year’s Assembly, who is regarded as one of the foremost African spokesmen at the United Nations. Mr. Eban discussed Israel’s view of the present situation on its Syrian border with his guests, although the luncheon had been scheduled earlier as part of the Israeli Foreign Minister’s usual courtesies to many of his Assembly colleagues.


In the letter to the Security Council, Mr. Comay told that body: “All the information has convinced my Government, beyond all reasonable doubt that:

“1. The 61 cases of murder, sabotage and mine-laying in Israeli territory, perpetrated by armed infiltrators since January 1965, form a single pattern of guerrilla-type activities; 2. These raids have been organized, equipped and directed by the Syrian authorities and armed forces; 3. The pattern of planned raiding by paramilitary organizations must be seen in the context of a ‘peoples’ war of liberation’ which has been proclaimed by the present national leaders of Syria against another United Nations member state, Israel.”

The Comay letter to the Security Council continued by stating: “The formal Syrian denials of responsibility, made for the United Nations record, are devoid of truth or credibility. The denials are contradicted by the Syrian Government itself, when it continues to declare that it is pursuing a ‘war of liberation’ against Israel; when its official government radio put out boastful ‘war communiques’ about the raids; and when it furiously denounces other neighboring Arab states for attempting to deny to the raiding squads transit through their territory.

“I am instructed once more to put on record my Government’s view that the Government of Syria is deliberately engaged in planned aggression against Israel. It is the earnest hope of the Israel Government that members of the Security Council, concerned as they are with preserving international peace and security, will impress upon the Government of Syria the need to call an immediate, complete and final halt to these attacks, lest the border situation deteriorate sharply.”

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