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Security Council Warned Time Running out on Middle East Resolution

The Security Council was cautioned today that the unanimity achieved by its Nov. 22, 1967 resolution on the Middle East might turn out to be the “maximum unanimity” achievable in the Middle East conflict and might not exist forever. The speaker, Joao Augusto de Araujo Castro, of Brazil, addressed the 15-nation body as it resumed debate on complaints lodged by Egypt and Israel over violations of the cease-fire along the Suez Canal. Mr. Castro followed Mohamed Awad el-Kony of Egypt, who charged Israel with trying to destroy his country’s “vital economic structure” by attacks far removed from the cease-fire line; and Armand Berard, of France, who said such incidents were almost inevitable when there was no solution in substance and added that “the occupation must end.” Mr. Berard acknowledged that responsibility for cease-fire violations “were sometimes shared” by both sides.

Mr. Castro said the crisis in the Middle East was now being compounded by a crisis in the Security Council. “Unanimity has not kept us from collective failure,” he said. The Nov. resolution, whatever the interpretation, was the basis for a solution. What was now needed was the will to succeed. He warned that there already had been a deterioration in relations between the Big Powers, now being reflected in the Middle East. He said the parties to the conflict needed some assurance about the permanence of any settlement, and only the major powers could give them this.

Mr. el-Kony referred to last Thursday’s Israeli raid on two bridges and a power station deep inside Egyptian territory. Israel said the raid was carried out by commandos and was restricted to installations. Egypt contends that Israel used bombing planes and aimed at civilian targets. He charged Israel with “unprecedented arrogance and unbound defiance” of the Security Council.

The Israeli raid followed a massive artillery barrage across the Suez Canal ten days ago which United Nations truce observers confirmed was initiated by Egypt without provocation. The latest complaint by Israel concerned two Egyptian MIG-21 jets which allegedly violated Israel-held air space over Sinai yesterday and were chased off by Israeli jets. A report on the incident from Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, chief of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was circulated among Security Council members before today’s meeting opened. It contained a summary of Israel’s version of the incident and reports from various UN observation posts that two aircraft were seen flying north, one of them “coming down with smoke from its tail and apparently in a spin.” Israeli spokesmen had reported earlier that an Egyptian jet was seen trailing smoke as it fled.

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