Security Council Approves Expected Condemnation of Israel for Beirut Raid

The Security Council voted unanimously yesterday, as had been expected, in condemnation of Israel’s “premeditated military action” in attacking the Beirut International Airport last Saturday night in a commando raid.

While the resolution avoided any suggestion of applications of sanctions, there was a hint to that effect in a clause saying that the Council was issuing “a solemn warning to Israel that if such acts were to be repeated the Council would have to consider further steps to give effect to its decisions.” The resolution also held that Lebanon was “entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel,” and that the raid was a threat to the peace.

J. R. Wiggins, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said after the adoption that while the United Stales delegation had supported the resolution, it did not approve of some of the attacks made on Israel during debates leading to the Council meeting. He declared that “we wish explicitly to dissociate ourselves from the sweeping generalizations, the crude denunciations and the reckless attacks upon Israel for alleged policies and acts having nothing to do with the episodes properly before us. Israel is not on trial here for its life. Israel is not being asked here to defend its right to exist.” But, he added, the United States considered ‘all these interventions against civil aviation” as “intolerable.”

Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, called the resolution an indication of the Council’s “bankruptcy” on the Middle East. He also charged, in his statement, that there had been a new near-outrage yesterday when a fused time bomb was found before it exploded in an Israeli school bus. Enough explosives had been, planted in the vehicle to have demolished it and killed every passenger.

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