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Yosef Tekoah Disputes Lebanon Version of Israeli Attack on Its Territory

Israel advised the Security Council today that the Government of Lebanon must bear full responsibility for the consequences of terrorist attacks mounted against Israel from Lebanese soil. Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, the chief representative of Israel to the United Nations, stated this in a letter to Terence Nsaze of the Republic of Burundi, this month’s President of the Security Council.

Mr. Tekoah’s letter was in reply to a complaint by the Lebanese representative, that Israeli forces attacked Lebanese territory on Jan. 25. “The facts are different,” Ambassador Tekoah wrote. “On the night of 24-25 January, the Israeli village of Zar’it…was shelled from inside Lebanon, apparently by irregular forces which use extensive parts of southern Lebanon as a base for aggression against Israel. The Israel Defense Forces returned this fire in the direction of the attackers.”

TEKOAH CHARGES LEBANON GOVERNMENT WITH COMPLICITY

Mr. Tekoah charged Lebanese Government complicity “in the campaign of aggression waged from Lebanese territory against Israel.” He cited a statement by the Lebanese Premier, Rashid Karame on Jan. 19, following a meeting with the leader of El Fatah. Mr. Karame said, “At my meeting with Yasser Arafat, the present situation and the necessity to cooperate in the general interest were discussed.”

Mr. Tekoah’s letter said, “In recent months, and in particular in the wake of the Cairo agreement of 3 November 1969 which provided for cooperation between terror organizations and the Government of Lebanon, the latter has associated itself with the policy of active warfare against Israel pursued by the other Arab states in violation of the cease-fire…The continuation of aggression from Lebanese territory has created an intolerable situation in which Israel must reserve its right to act in self defense.”

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