UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 18)
After receiving a warning from Secretary-General U Thant that further reduction of the 3,400-man strength of the United Nations emergency Force could lead to aggravation of the “disturbing signs” of trouble on the Egyptian-Israeli borders for which UNEF acts as a buffer, the General Assembly adopted this weekend the UNEF budget for 1967, as well as a supplementary budget for UNEF’s 1966 expenditure.
In his report, Mr. Thant also voiced “concern” over the existence of 12,000 members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a force pledged to make war against Israel. He sated that these 12,000 military men are behind the UNEF lines in the Gaza Strip. UNEF stands on guard against the eruption of Israeli-Egyptian warfare along the Egyptian side of the Gaza Strip border, as well as at Sharm el-Sheikh, a Sinai outpost overlooking Israel’s Gulf of Akaba outlet to the Red Sea.
Arab spokesmen in the Assembly protested against Mr. Thant’s reference to the PLO, insisting that such mention was beyond UNEF’s competence. The Soviet Union, voting against the adoption of the UNEF budgets, reiterated its opposition to UNEF, voiced here many times since that force was established in 1956, insisting that only the Security Council, and not the assembly, was empowered to establish a U.N. peace-keeping force.
The budgets were voted in two separate resolutions. One set the 1967 budget at 14,000,000. The other raised the 1966 allocation from the $15,000,000 voted for this year last December to a total of $16,146,000.