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Eshkol Addresses Knesset on Israel’s Reprisal Raid into Jordan

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Premier Levi Eshkol told Parliament today that “God is my witness that we do not want bloodshed to go on both sides of the border” but “Israeli blood is no less than that of any other.”

Addressing a session on Israel’s reprisal raid last Sunday against Jordan, the Premier reminded the house of the growing incidence of border attacks from Jordan. He quoted a threat by the Damascus Radio that Syria would turn every house in Israel “into a grave.” Let it be clear, the Prime Minister declared, that the Jordanian raid was a warning directed as well to Syria.

He said the Soviet veto of a resolution at the Security Council on November 4, asking Syria to strengthen its borders against terrorist raids into Israel, had aggravated the problem because it made the Arabs “think they can get away with anything, including organized murder.” He pointed out that Israel had repeatedly exercised patience, “but even the greatest patience can come to an end,” he declared.

Only speakers for the Communist Party and Haolem Hazeh, a fringe party, dissociated themselves from the raid. All other parties voted for a Government motion to discuss the question in committee. Yosef Serlin, speaking for the opposition Gahal Party, declared his faction’s unreserved support for the Government on the issue.

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