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Arab Rejoicing Tempered by Concern over Diplomatic Consequences

Arab rejoicing over the terrorist attack on an Israeli airliner in Switzerland Tuesday was tempered today by concern in political circles over the long-range diplomatic consequences of the action and fear in Beirut that the Israelis would once again hold Lebanon responsible for the terrorist actions and take action against that country.

The London Evening Standard said that reports from Cairo revealed concern over the possible effect of the attack on the worldwide campaign the Arab governments have mounted to try to compel the British Government to embargo the sale of arms to Israel. The campaign was to have reached a new stage in the next 48 hours, the Evening Standard said, with an official warning from the Egyptian Government to Britain. But the Zurich affair, the paper said, has undermined this move. An immediate Arab objective is to make Britain halt the sale of Centurion tanks to Israel. Britain has been supplying Centurions to Israel for more than 10 years.

In Cairo, official Egyptian Government spokesman Mohammed Hassan el-Zayyat said an Israeli reprisal attack was expected since “Israel’s policy is government by terror.”

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