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Thant Asked to Find out if States Harboring Terrorists Will Protect Aviation

Foreign Minister Abba Eban disclosed today that he has asked United Nations Secretary-General U Thant to find out from the Arab countries that permit terrorist organizations to operate from their soil what measures they were taking to prevent violations of international civil aviation rights such as last month’s attack on an El Al airliner at Zurich.

The request was contained in Mr. Eban’s second letter to Mr. Thant on the subject of terrorist assaults on Israeli civilian aviation. The first letter, sent right after the Zurich incident, brought an admonition from Mr. Thant that Israel should announce its readiness to implement the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution because the “only sure way” to end terrorism was to make “some substantial movement” toward peace.

Mr. Eban, in his reply, told the Secretary-General that it was unrealistic to ignore the responsibility of the states–members of the UN–which supported and maintained the terrorist organizations responsible for the Zurich attack and other acts against Israel. Speaking at a press conference here today, Mr. Eban deplored the image of Arab terrorists as “freedom fighters” which has appeared in many Western publications. They are terrorists, he said, “continuing the massacre started by Hitler; their motto is the same as the Nazi SS–to kill as many Jews as possible.” He accused the terrorists of having precipitated three wars in the Middle East–in 1948, 1956 and 1967. He said that Russia’s support of the terrorists, as evidenced in a recent Pravda article, proved that the Soviets have not changed their attitude toward the Middle East.

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