U.N. Teams Disprove Charges of Israel Massing Troops Against Syria
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U.N. Teams Disprove Charges of Israel Massing Troops Against Syria

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Seven teams of United Nations military observers inspected the Israeli side of the Syrian border yesterday and reported today, after completing their dawn-to-dusk check, that they had found no evidence whatever that Israel had mobilized its military forces for purposes of making war against Syria and overthrowing its regime.

They made their report today, to Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization who said, in turn, that he would send his report to United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. (At the U.N., Mr. Thant told the Council today he would submit the Bull report on the inspections as soon as he has received and processed the Bull information.)

The inspection was made at the request of the Security Council after Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban, addressed the body last Friday night on his Government’s charges that Syria was responsible for terrorist violence inside Israel and violations of both the United Nations Charater and the 1949 Israeli-Syrian armistice agreement through war threats and incitement and encouragement of terrorist violence. The charges of Israeli border mobilization had been made both by Syria and the Soviet Union.

Only a few hours before the inspection teams went into action, the Damascus Government agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to probe the Syrian border lines also. That inspection report is expected also to be included in Gen. Bull’s report.


In a related development, Israeli officials said today that the four-man group of armed Arab infiltrators which clashed yesterday with an Israeli border patrol was apparently a Syrian intelligence unit sent via Lebaron to gather information. In the clash, three of the infiltrators were killed and he was wounded and captured. One of the Israeli border policemen, a Druse, was shot in the affray and later died of his wounds. The four infiltrators initially had been identified as members of the El Fatah commando organization who have repeatedly made incursions into Israel.

The wounded infiltrator underwent surgery last night. When he recovers, he will face murder charges. Since Israel abolished capital punishment, the death sentence is permitted only for infiltrators involved in fatal attacks on Israelis, and for Nazi war criminals. The khaki-dressed infiltrators carried submachine guns, grenades and other army weapons.

Israel has handled the latest border incident with great restraint. The Israeli press reported news of the clash carefully. Israeli officials made a point of stating that, in spite of the incident, all avenues for political and diplomatic action must be explored to reach a relaxation of border tensions. Despite the new clash, Israeli officials were reported as continuing to look for possible UN action emerging from the current Security Council session on Israel’s complaint against Syria.

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