UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Mar. 30)
A modified version of an Afro-Asian-sponsored resolution condemning Israel for last Wednesday’s air attack on a guerrilla base at Salt in Jordan in which 18 civilians were reportedly killed and 25 wounded will be on the agenda when the Security Council meets again, probably on Tuesday. Tomorrow’s meeting was cancelled in deference to the national day of mourning for former President Eisenhower. The modification was one of degree. The new text of the draft resolution sponsored by Pakistan Senegal and Zambia would “condemn” Israel for flagrant violations of the cease-fire and warn that the Council would meet again to consider further, more effective action if the attacks continued. But it dropped threats of possible sanctions or the use of force contained in the original draft.
The original resolution was introduced as the Security Council met yesterday for the third consecutive day on the Jordanian complaint. Israel had filed a counter-complaint charging Jordan with responsibility for terrorist attacks on its soil. The first Afro-Asian draft was conceded to be too strong to pass. It threatened to invoke against a member of state articles 41 and 42 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter which spell out the UN’s sanction powers and right to take action by force to restore international peace and security. The resolution as it stood was unacceptable to the United States and other Western powers. Equally unacceptable to the Afro Asian states was a U.S. draft condemning “all acts of violence” including the Arab guerrilla raids which Israel cited as justification for its pre-emptive air strikes. The U.S. refused to go along with what it considered a one-sided condemnation. But there was strong sentiment for unanimity in the 15-member Council and for prompt action. Behind this was the desire of the Big Four–U.S., Britain, France and Russia–to start their Mideast discussions with a clean slate. The powers were expected to start their talks next Thursday at the French UN Mission.
Jordan’s Ambassador, Muhammad H. el-Farra, rejected Western attempts to couple his country’s complaint against Israel with Israel’s charges of guerrilla activities. He said the question of guerrillas could be dealt with under a separate heading and could not be the subject of a joint resolution. Israel’s chief representative. Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, said a one-sided resolution would only increase Mideast tensions and would make no contribution toward a solution of the region’s problems.
(Israeli Air Force jets struck at guerrilla positions inside Jordan today for the second time in four days, following three bazooka attacks on Israeli patrols in the Beisan Valley region. Four Israeli soldiers were wounded with two requiring hospitalization.)