MONTREAL (Aug. 21)
The general council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted unanimously yesterday a resolution condemning Israel for intercepting a Lebanese airliner Aug. 10 and forcing it to land at an Israeli air base. The special meeting requested by Lebanon was attended by 28 of the 30 member nations of the council. Nicaragua and Nigeria were not present. ICAO, a special agency of the United Nations, has 128 members.
The resolution also recommended that when the ICAO general assembly meets in Rome Aug. 28 it consider the Israeli “action.” The ICAO diplomatic conference which will also meet in Rome at the same time as the general assembly was urged to “make provisions on its deliberations for acts on unlawful interference by states.” An ICAO spokesman explained that until recently all acts against civil aviation were committed by individuals.
(In Jerusalem, official sources rejected tonight the ICAO council condemnation and termed the resolution one-sided and unjust. Israel’s interception of the Lebanese aircraft was an act of self-defense, official sources stressed. They added that the international community does not react efficiently to the terror against civil aviation and, therefore, Israel has no choice but to defend itself.)
LEBANON MAY CALL FOR SANCTIONS
Israeli Consul General David Ephrati in Montreal representing Israel as an observer at the meeting, said today that the resolution adopted by the council “could have been expected as an automatic sequence to the Arab countries’ request.” He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that yesterday’s action was par for the course. “Whenever Arab countries have a request to the ICAO, and other international agencies, that request goes through automatically.”
Ephrati asserted that “as long as ICAO and other international agencies, as well as individual states, will not act effectively against Arab terrorism, Israel will be obliged, as a last resort, to take measures of self-defense.”
Moufid Abouchacra, representative of Lebanon at the ICAO meeting, told a press conference last night that his country was “happy with the unanimous vote” and termed the resolution “a good compromise as there were no sanctions involved now.” However, he added, “we cannot predict what is going to happen in Rome, but we hope that we may get more efficient measures against Israel. Lebanon was, from the beginning, against sanctions against Israel, but with actions happening here and there Lebanon may yet change its position.” Abouchacra did not elaborate on what he meant by actions here and there.