UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 28)
Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, yesterday repudiated a charge by the Lebanese Ambassador to the UN that Israel deliberately bombed a refugee camp in Nabatiya-during the retaliatory raid against terrorist bases in Lebanon on Sept. 16. He also labeled as “utterly baseless” another Lebanese charge that Israel used napalm during the same raid. Tekoah issued these statements in a letter to the President of the Security Council, Huang Hua, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China. The Lebanese charges were contained in a letter to Hua on Sept. 21.
In his letter, Tekoah stated that Israel’s action on Sept. 16 was directed against the bases of the terror organizations. “These were the targets actually hit. This has been confirmed by the terrorist organizations themselves in communiques issued by them during and after the action, broadcast by Syrian and Egyptian radio and disseminated by the news agency of the terrorist organizations. This has been further confirmed by reports of Agence France Presse, Associated Press, Reuters and other international news agencies.”
Tekoah declared further that “To the extent that there were also casualties among civilians, which are to be regretted, the responsibility must be borne by the Lebanese authorities which continue to support and shelter the terrorist organizations thus compelling Israel to strike back at them in the exercise of legitimate self-defense.”
Continuing, Tekoah affirmed that the Israeli forces “acted under strict instructions to do all in their power to avoid civilian casualties. Thus the structures destroyed were those used as centers and hideouts by the murder squads and their demolition took place only after confirmation of such use had been obtained on the spot.” The Israel diplomat also stated, “Eyewitness reports by representatives of international media of information belie the malicious allegation in the Lebanese letter that there was looting.”
Tekoah warned that “as long as the Lebanese government does not fulfill its elementary international obligations and does not put an end to the gory killings initiated and perpetrated from its territory it will remain branded as an accomplice in these crimes.