UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Aug. 6)
France and Canada condemned in the Security Council today Israel’s air attack Sunday on terrorist bases in Jordan but urged the Council to avoid any action which might interfere with the current peace-seeking mission of UN emissary Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring, The Council session began yesterday on the call of both Jordan and Israel, after the air raid against what Israel called a new major terrorist base near Salt. The Council recessed today after several hours’ discussion and will reconvene Wednesday.
The opening speaker today, the Egyptian delegate Amin Hilmy II, followed the lead of Mu-hammed H. el-Farra of Jordan, who yesterday urged sanctions against Israel. The Egyptian delegate aroused the Council of “reluctance to face up to its international responsibility” to preserve peace in the Middle East and asserted that this had “encouraged” Israel to “continue its aggression with impunity.” The morning meeting witnessed a rejection by Israel’s Ambassador, Yosef Tekoah, of an Algerian attempt to have the Security Council president, Joao Augusto de Aranjo Castro of Brazil, rule against Israel’s effort to link such actions as the Sunday raid to the “continuing war by the Arab states against Israel” and Israel’s legitimate rights of self-defense. Mr. Tekoah, exercising his right of reply following the Egyptian statement, ridiculed Arab assertions that terrorist raids against Israel stemmed entirely from the “resistance” of Arab “patriots” against their “inhuman oppressor.” He cited a 1948 Security Council resolution which condemned such raids and called on the Arab states to halt any such actions emanating from their territories. He declared that the Arab-sponsored “war of liberation” was not a new development, emerging after the June 1967 conflict, but a matter extending back to “the ’40s, the ’50s, the ’60s.” The fact was, he said, that the Arabs have been conducting war against Israel for 20 years — economic, political, psychological – and that there has been shelling of Israeli villagers by Jordanian regulars and constant terrorist raids “with the connivance and support” of the Jordanian and Egyptian Governments.
TEKOAH ASSAILS NASSER, CITES EGYPTIAN’S PLEDGE OF SUPPORT TO TERRORISTS
Mr. Tekoah then denounced President Nasser of Egypt, declaring that recent statements indicating a readiness by Egypt to consider steps toward Middle East peace by acceptance of the Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution had been rejected by Mr. Nasser in a speech on July 23 in which the Egyptian President had pledged full support to terrorist raids and had declared there could be no negotiation and no peace with Israel. The Israeli representative then charged Egypt with gas bombing of villages in Yemen, citing an International Red Cross medical mission report, and declared that Israel challenged the right of any nation practicing such means of warfare to come to the Security Council to plead a case for human rights in the Middle East. At this point, Algeria asked for permission to speak and urged the Council president to ask speakers to restrict themselves to the Council agenda item. The Council president then asked Israel to do so. (Neither Mr. Tekoah nor the Algerian envoy, Tewfik Bouattoura, made any mention of the July 23 hijacking by Arab terrorists of an El Al airliner which is still being held by Algeria along with 12 Israeli crewmen and passengers.) The Israel envoy, resuming his statement, declared that Israel, as a member of the UN, would question (the title of any state that persecutes Jews and discriminates against them, to speak here on human rights,” as well as the right of “any state guilty of aggression to question Israel’s right of self-defense.” He said that the ‘only way’ for the Council to act would be “not by focussing on Israel’s self-defense” but by seeing to it that “Arab warfare” against Israel was ended.
Claude Chayet of France said that such reprisals as the assault on Sunday could not be tolerated and that the Council had to deal with them, arguing that such operations could not he justified as legitimate defense needs. He also said such actions were useless since they created a tragic cycle leading to more such actions and counter-actions. He then warned that military operations could only make more difficult the task of Ambassador Jarring.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Security Council, the Arab delegates, supported by the Soviet representative, Yakov A. Malik, called for condemnation of Israel and ‘measures to punish the aggressors.” The United States representative. Ambassador George W. Ball, said his Government did not condone the “major military attack” against Jordan but, at the same time, it did not condone the terrorist attacks by Jordan. He proposed a UN presence in the area and said that both sides should be exhorted to lay down their arms. Mr. Tekoah called on the Council to raise its voice against the “sanguinary” acts of aggression and warfare against Israel pursued from Jordanian territory. He urged the Council to impress on Jordan the necessity of abiding by its cease-fire obligations and terminating acts of aggression from its territory.
The Jordanian representative, Mr. el-Farra, said yesterday that 34 Jordanians were killed in Sunday’s air strike by Israel and 82 wounded. He said that in June, an Israeli assault on Irbid killed 59 Jordanians and injured 121. Mr. Tekoah said that Israel had acted in self-defense in its attacks on terrorist and saboteur bases in Jordanian territory.
Palestinian Arabs returning from Jordan yesterday reported that casualties suffered during Sunday’s air strike at the El Fatah headquarters near the village of Salt were much greater than the number announced by Jordanian officials. A Hebron merchant, who said he had received his information from the Red Crescent, the Arab Red Cross, estimated that 140 were killed in the air attacks. He said that all medical services in Jordan were alerted and every available ambulance was sent to the Salt region. The Amman radio said yesterday that 23 civilians and five soldiers were killed and 16 civilians and six soldiers were wounded.