TEL AVIV (Aug. 20)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban said last night that Israel would head demands for effective international laws to curb aerial piracy even though it is being condemned for the Aug. 10 interception of a Lebanese airliner believed to have had terrorist leaders aboard. Eban. who returned from a Latin American visit, said that Israel “should expect unbalanced proposals.”
“We should tell those countries who really want to eliminate danger to international aviation freedom that it is better to implement some of the proposals that were not implemented because the Arab states prevented their acceptance. At a time when the Arab states are worried about disruption of the freedom of the airways, they would do well to cooperate with us in making such a law and implementing it,” Eban said.
He reiterated his statement made during a taped radio interview last week that Israel was working through international channels to prevent sanctions against it by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) council which opens its meeting today in Montreal.
Eban refused to express his personal opinion of the interception of the Lebanese airliner, an act that has embarrassed Israel and raised some criticism at home as well as abroad. But he said the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous condemnation of Israel last week for the interception was of little importance. “Were there 35 Jewish states in the UN as there are Arab states, and their friends, the issue would never have reached the agenda.” Eban said.