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Direct Action Against El Fatah Requested in Debate in the Knesset

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Direct military action by Israel against Syria, to halt Syrian-based El Fatah guerrilla attacks, was advocated today by many speakers in debate on foreign policy in the Knesset (Parliament), which was opened yesterday by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. The Prime Minister offered an immediate non-aggression pact to Syria, but warned that Israel would take direct action, at a place and time of its own choosing, if the guerrilla attacks were continued.

Almost all of the speakers, in and out of the coalition Government, condemned the Soviet Union’s full backing of Syria in the debate before the United Nations Security Council which was called into urgent session at Israel’s request. The critics of the Soviet Union included Yaakov Hazan, of the leftist Mapam, a coalition party which advocates friendship with the Soviet Union as one of its principle tenets.

Gen. Moshe Dayan, a former Chief of Staff, said Israel must react militarily to halt the incursions. He warned that, otherwise, Egypt and Jordan would not be able to continue their policies of restraint, and would not be able to restrain Syria. He added he did not believe an Israeli military response would mean war.

Several of the speakers expressed approval of the action of the Government in placing the issue before the Security Council. But most concurred with the view of Yitzhak Harari, of the Independent Liberals, that diplomacy alone had not proved effective in the past.

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