LONDON (Jul. 19)
Michael M. Fidler, a Conservative member of Parliament and president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, last night released Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home’s reply to his letter regarding the British vote in the UN Security Council for a resolution censuring Israel’s raid on terrorist bases in Lebanon last month and the capture of six Arab army officers. Fidler had written to Prime Minister Edward Heath on the same subject but was advised by him that Sir Alec would reply in detail.
In his reply dated July 18, Sir Alec said, “While the right of self-defense is an undisputable one, I do not consider that acts of reprisal on the scale recently undertaken by Israel against the Lebanese are an appropriate or an effective method of dealing with the situation.”
Sir Alec enclosed the text of the statement made by the British representative to the UN clarifying the position of the British delegation. A hitherto unpublished point in the statement relating to the captured prisoners says, “The release of these people is a matter of immediate priority, but it is clearly high time that there was a general release of other captured persons.”
Israel has since made it clear that she will not release the Syrian and Lebanese officers except as part of a general prisoner-of-war exchange with Syria and Egypt.