Soviet Union Launches New Drive to Force Israeli Troop Withdrawal
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Soviet Union Launches New Drive to Force Israeli Troop Withdrawal

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The Soviet Union launched a new attempt today to secure action by the United Nations to compel Israel to withdraw its forces from the territory it had occupied in the six-day war and return to the June 5th armistice lines.

In a letter today to the President of the Security Council, Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Foreign Minister, accused Israel of “continued aggression and military provocations in the Suez Canal area” and warned that “in order to prevent further military clashes and to eliminate the danger of renewed war in the Middle East, Israel must immediately withdraw its forces from the territory of the Arab states occupied by her.” He said that it was “to the accomplishment of this task that the United Nations should contribute.”

On Thursday, the emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly, convened June 18 on the Soviet Union’s initiative when the Soviet Union failed to secure a Security Council condemnation of Israel, will be closed. From all present indications, the Assembly will not have agreement on a basic resolution to deal with the Middle East situation and will have to refer it back to the Security Council. Mr. Gromyko’s letter today was regarded as a preparatory move to bring the Council into session to consider the situation.

Mr. Gromyko said that “the Soviet Government considers that the military clashes provoked by Israel in the Suez Canal area are extremely dangerous and could develop into a wider military conflict.” He charged that continued occupation of Arab territory by Israel was “a violation of the fundamental principle of the U.N. Charter and international law, and an infringement of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab states.”

The Soviet Foreign Minister referred to complaints made by Egypt last week and asserted that “they provide new, specific information on the flagrant violations of the Security Council resolutions on the cease-fire.” He repeated Egyptian allegations of Israeli aggressions in the Suez Canal zone and asserted that they proved that Israel was continuing a policy of aggression against the Arab states.


The Jordanian delegation said today that it reserved the right to ask for an emergency meeting of the Security Council over “grave Israeli violations and acts of provocation” on July 15. The Jordanians accused Israel of three incidents along the Jordan. Israel had previously reported that Jordanians opened fire from the east bank of the Jordan at three locations on July 15.

An attempt by the Arab states to challenge Israel’s credentials was overwhelmingly defeated in the General Assembly yesterday, but the debate on the issue crystallized the Arab and Israeli positions. Speaking for the Arab states. George Tomeh, the Syrian delegate, said he wished “to confirm non-recognition of the State of Israel. Israel is a racist, Zionist, expansionist state.”

Ambassador Abba S. Eban of Israel, in reply, said the Syrian envoy had shown that the “Arab policy of aggression, belligerency and war” against Israel had not changed. The Arab attitude, he said, strengthened the Israel resolve not to respond to the Arab states “unless there is an explicit recognition of Israel’s statehood, sovereignty and international rights.”


In another development, Ambassador Gideon Rafael made a sharp protest to Abdul Rahman Pazhwak of Afghanistan, the Assembly president, because “the rostrum of the General Assembly was used for venomous and scurrilous religious incitement.” He said that Ambassador Pazhwak had permitted Jamil Baroody of Saudi Arabia to make “references and allusions offensive to the Jewish tradition without intervention from the chair.” He said Baroody’s remarks yesterday were without precedent in U.N. history and were “an incitement to religious hatred which is a flagrant violation of the declaration against religious intolerance.”

(In London, George Brown, the British Foreign Secretary, and the Israel Ambassador, Aharon Remez, conferred at length today on Middle East developments at the United Nations. The meeting was at the ambassador’s request.)

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