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Security Council Meets on Jordanian Complaint, Hears Tekoah Explain Air Attack

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The Security Council met today to consider a Jordanian

complaint over yesterday’s Israeli air strike on an El Fatah base near the village of Salt in Jordan. The Jordanian representative, Mohammed H. el-Farra, said the Israeli raid hit rest homes in a winter resort area near Ein Hazar village killing 18 civilians and wounding 23. Israel filed a counter-complaint which accused Jordan of “armed attacks, armed infiltration and acts of murder and violence by terrorist groups operating from Jordanian territory with the official support, aid and encouragement of the Jordanian Government and armed forces.”

The Israeli representative, Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, said his country could not acquiesce in the premeditated murder of its citizens. If the Arabs refused to put an end to it, Israel had to act, he said. He said Israel took action yesterday “to disable terror bases in Jordanian territory” with the main target the El Fatah base at Ein Hazar, near Salt. He said that it was the operational headquarters from which terrorist groups, mainly El Fatah, carried out more than 200 sabotage raids across the cease-fire line.

Mr. el-Farra claimed that the Israeli attack was a deliberate attempt to “dynamite the efforts of the Big Four to find a Middle East solution” after Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban failed to accomplish this objective on his recent visit to Washington. Speaking directly to the Big Powers, the Jordanian Ambassador asked, “What are they going to do now that it is clear that this Israeli act of aggression was calculated to frustrate and undermine all their peaceful efforts?”

Soviet Ambassador Yakov A. Malik accused Israel of trying to forestall the coming Four Power talks and trying to subvert a settlement. The Security Council, he asserted, must condemn “the new aggressive acts” against Jordan and demand that Israel heed the Council’s previous resolutions. Ambassador Charles W. Yost said that the U.S. was opposed to raids like the one on Salt and that Israel should discontinue them.

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