UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., (May. 12)
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a Spanish resolution today calling for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon. It rejected a United States amendment urging an “immediate cessation of all military operations in the Israel-Lebanon area” as well as a Soviet sub-amendment that would have substituted the words “Israeli aggression” for “military operations.” The Security Council met in emergency session this morning only hours after the announcement that an Israeli armored force had invaded Lebanon to destroy guerrilla bases from which Israeli border settlements have been under attack. The session was called for by both Israel and Lebanon.
It was addressed by the Lebanese Ambassador, Edouard Ghorra, who demanded the application of sanctions against Israel under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter. Israel’s chief representative, Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, declared that the Israeli attack was aimed “solely against the concentration of terrorist organizations in southeast Lebanon” and “the nests of bases for saboteurs.” Mr. Tekoah interrupted his statement to announce receipt of word that the morning’s operations had been concluded. He said a curfew had been imposed on the area and that terrorist identification was proceeding. He said that seven Israeli soldiers were “slightly wounded” in the fighting. It was unclear from Mr. Tekoah’s announcement whether Israeli forces had withdrawn from Lebanon or were occupying an area. (Israeli spokesmen in Tel Aviv said this morning that the operation which began at 4:30 a.m. Israel time would be over by sundown.)
(The U.S. State Department issued a call to both sides for “restraint” today. Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey said, “At the onset of the most recent series of fedayeen attacks on Israel which preceded today’s raid on Lebanon, the U.S. moved promptly to urge that everything possible be done to bring under control this unending cycle of violence which has been abetted by outside forces. We regret that our efforts have not been successful but we urge everyone concerned to have restraint.” Sources here said the outside forces referred to Iraq and Syria which today supported Lebanon against Israel.) The Security Council was briefed by Secretary General U Thant before it began its session this morning. Mr. Thant said his information was based on reports by the Acting Chief of UNTSO (UN Truce Supervision Organization), The reports stated that the Lebanese delegation to the Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission reported that an Israeli armored attack was launched on Lebanese territory in the early hours today in the area of Mt. Hermon.
UNTSO CHIEF REPORTS ISRAELI ACTION AIMED AT DESTRUCTION OF FEDAYEEN COMMANDOS
Mr. Thant said the UNTSO chief reported that the senior Israeli representative on the MAC said the action going on in the El Arkoub area east of the Hasbani River “was only aimed at the destruction of fedayeen commandos, and it was not the intention of Israeli troops to act against the Lebanese Army or population provided the Lebanese Army and population does not support the fedayeen.” Mr. Thant recalled that he has long sought to increase substantially the number of UN observers on both sides in the area, but without success. There are reportedly six UN observers in Lebanon, Lebanese Ambassador Ghorra urged the Security Council to take “positive action” for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and to condemn Israel. He said Israel was “sadly mistaken if she thinks she can wring our necks.” He referred to a statement attributed to certain Israelis that Lebanon is “a chicken and its neck has to be wrung,” The Lebanese envoy also referred to Sunday’s “Salute to Israel” parade in New York. He said the Zionists marched chanting peace slogans while at the same time “Israeli military hawks were hatching in darkness their sinister plan of attacking Lebanon.”
Ambassador Tekoah charged Lebanon with 61 acts of aggression since April 1 against 22 Israeli towns, which he named. He said the Lebanese complaint was an attempt to “shift responsibility” for the Lebanese-Israeli difficulties to Israel whereas Lebanon has been “a base of continuous aggression” arising from “diabolical blood lust.” The resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon was proposed by the Spanish Ambassador, Don Jaime De Pinies, supported by Zambia. The Soviet Union, the Arab bloc and Spain insisted on an immediate vote. Israel, supported by the U.S. and Britain, declared that before a vote the Security Council should confirm to its satisfaction Ambassador Tekoah’s contention that this morning’s military action by Israel was aimed only at saboteur sanctuaries in Lebanon and that there had been no Israeli-Lebanese clashes. The vote was taken shortly past noon.
The U.S. amendment was rejected by a vote of two-zero with 13 abstentions. The Soviet sub-amendment was defeated three-zero with 12 abstentions. The Security Council adjourned until 4:30 p.m. local time. Ambassador Tekoah, asked by newsmen at the adjournment of the morning session to comment on the resolution adopted by the Security Council, said: “The resolution is another in a long series of one-sided texts adopted by the Security Council. This time the Council has even refused to take into consideration the plain facts of the situation. Texts of this kind do not contribute to a constructive consideration of the Middle East conflict.”