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Israel Stresses Syria’s Unwillingness to Negotiate Land Rights

Syria, whose unwillingness to negotiate with Israel over land cultivation rights in the demilitarized zones on the Israeli-Syrian frontiers has caused the current, two-month hiatus in talks initiated by the United Nations, “would rather shoot than discuss,” the Security Council was told by Israel this weekend.

In a letter to Council president George Ignatieff from Israel’s permanent representative here. Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel replied to two letters sent by the Syrian delegate, blaming Israel for the recent border troubles. In his letter, Mr. Comay pointed out that the Damascus Government had refused to proceed with the agenda of the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission which the U.N. had convened on January 25. In March and the first week of April, Mr. Comay noted, there were at least 10 attacks against Israel by terrorist groups sent into Israel by the Syrians.

Mr. Comay, whose letter did not ask for a Council meeting, told the Security Council president that Syria “needs to be firmly reminded” of its obligations to respect Israel’s territorial integrity and political independence.

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