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Eban Tells Cabinet Thant Reply Awaited on Israeli Letter Dealing with Terrorism

Foreign Minister Abba Eban advised the Cabinet today that United Nations Secretary General U Thant had not yet replied to his message of last Thursday on the problem of terrorist attacks against civilian aircraft. Mr. Eban had called upon Mr. Thant to explain concretely what “constructive international action” he had had in mind when he had called for it, following the Arab terrorist attack on Tuesday on an El Al plane in Zurich, to prevent “acts of violence against civil aviation in the future.” Israel is duty-bound, Mr. Eban told the Cabinet, to invoke the right of self-defense against the terrorist groups which continue to announce their intention to carry out acts of bloodshed against Israel and are supported by Arab governments.

Transport Minister Moshe Carmel said that very few El Al reservations had been cancelled in the wake of the attack, and that many Jews and non-Jews had demonstratively switched reservations to El Al from other airlines. He said a number of U.S. Jewish organizations had informed him of their intention to increase flight bookings.