UNITED NATIONS, N.Y (Apr. 1)
The 15-member United Nations Security Council convened this afternoon for its second session today and was expected to approve a three-nation resolution condemning Israel for “recent premeditated air attacks” launched against Jordanian villages and populated areas in “flagrant violation” of the UN Charter and cease-fire resolutions. Sponsoring the resolution were Pakistan, Senegal and Zambia, who claimed that they had the nine votes necessary for passage. United States’ Ambassador Charles W. Yost said that he would abstain from voting, and it was apparent that Britain’s Sir Leslie Glass would do the same. The Council held in the morning another round of debate on the Israeli attack last Wednesday on the Jordanian village of El Hazar near Salt. Jordan claimed that 18 civilians died in the raid. Israel declared the raid was directed against a base of El Fatah, an Arab guerrilla organization.
Mr. Yost considered the draft resolution “unbalanced, unrealistic and unlikely to move the parties to the conflict towards a peaceful solution.” He would abstain from voting, he said, but his action should not be considered in any way as condoning the violence which the draft condemned or any other violence in the area or cease-fire violations. If there had been a single operative paragraph on other violence, he said, the U.S. would have been able to vote for the draft. Sir Leslie said his delegation condemned the “brutal” attack last week by Israel and called all “indiscriminate” air bombing “particularly repugnant.” However, he said, all Council actions had to be considered in the light of whether they served the cause of peace. He commented that there was a deep need to maintain the unanimity in the Council on this issue, and said that his delegation believed that there had to be in the resolution “minimum acknowledgement of the overall situation in the area.” Britain had expressed the opinion earlier that a split in voting would prejudice Big Four talks that were slated to begin this week, perhaps Thursday. Mr. Yost told the Council that he would have wished “to vote for a resolution condemning the Israeli air attacks” since all such attacks and cease-fire violations are repugnant. But, he said, the air raids could not be “considered in isolation.” He said that he wished also to condemn attacks on schools and market places and, apparently referring to Arab terrorists, remarked, “we call upon those in a position to do so” to end such attacks.
Ambassador Yosef Tekoah of Israel told the Council that the draft resolution before the Council “battered still further the already battered virtues of truth and equality.” Israel, he said, “has not the slightest intention of allowing itself to be executed.” He said the the security measures applied by Israel against “terror warfare” were the same measures Jordan has applied. So long as Jordan “glamorizes… murder for the sake of murder,” as it had done today in the Council, he said, and continued to initiate, organize and support terrorism, his Government would continue to hold Amman responsible.
Mohammed H. el-Farra, the Jordanian envoy, said that he had expected the Council to take stronger enforcement action against Israel than the present resolution called for, apparently alluding to sanctions. But, he said, he would not insist upon invocation of provisions of the Charter which deal with enforcement of Council decisions by economic and diplomatic penalties, and possible military force, in order to prevent a split in the Big Four at this juncture. Mr. el-Farra said he had expected a stronger resolution in light of the Council’s warning to Israel in condemning its air attack last December on Beirut airport.
Yakov A. Malik of the Soviet Union said that on the eve of the Big Four meetings, the Council had again been required to consider Israeli “aggression.” The Arabs, he said, would have preferred not to come to the Council, but they had no choice. He said he regretted that the draft solution was weak and would have voted for a stronger one.