Excerpts of Tekoah’s Statement to UN
Menu JTA Search

Excerpts of Tekoah’s Statement to UN

Download PDF for this date

“….Our Prime Minister said on October 11 that we have no ambition in this war except to repel an assault on our security. Our supreme national objective is the attainment of a negotiated peace. These considerations explain our positive attitude to the draft resolution….It is evident that Israel’s compliance with the proposed cease-fire is conditional on its acceptance and observance by all the states taking part in this fighting. Moreover every government accepting the cease-fire must obviously be responsible for ensuring that it should apply to not only its own troops but also to troops from other countries operating on its soil as well as to irregulars of any kind.

“We have in mind, for example, the terrorists firing on villages in northern Israel from Lebanese territory or infiltration across the border. The “cessation of military activity” must include the elimination of the blockade now imposed by the republic of Yemen at the Bab el Mandab Straits. The obstruction of waterways to international navigation is certainly an act of war which this resolution should bring to an end. We accept Paragraph 2 of the draft resolution in the sense defined by Israel in its decision of August 4, 1970 in connection with the United States cease-fire initiative and also in our communication to the Secretary General of August 4 and in the address of our Prime Minister Mrs. Golda Meir in the Knesset on that day.

“We attach great importance to the provision of the draft resolution in Paragraph 3….We have constantly emphasized that the absence of free direct, normal peace negotiations between Israel and its neighbors lies at the heart of the deadlock in the Middle East. Paragraph 3 of the draft resolution and the statement made by the representative of the United States represents important progress in international policy on this crucial point.

“The hostilities launched on October 6 have resulted in hundreds of military personnel becoming prisoners of war. We regard the release of all prisoners of war now held in the countries involved in the conflict as an indispensable condition of any cease-fire agreement…” Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, presented this statement last night to the Security Council meeting.


From the start of the Yom Kippur war until Sunday the Egyptian and Syrian airforces lost a total of 400 planes; slightly more than 200 by the Egyptians and a little less than 200 by the Syrians. On the ground, the Egyptians lost some 850 tanks while the Syrians lost about 1000 tanks. The Syrian losses included Iraqi and Jordanian tanks as well. This number of Egyptian tanks lost did not include the 60 tanks they lost Sunday on the western side of the Suez Canal and scores on the eastern side On Saturday the Egyptians lost about 70 tanks.

It was Saturday, very early in the morning when Nahariya, the quiet sea resort north of Acre, was awakened to an enormous explosion followed immediately by the unmistakable sound of glass breaking everywhere. The first thought was that terrorists had again fired their Katyusha rockets from across the Lebanese border. But within minutes everyone knew: a Syrian plane – a Sukhoi bomber – had crashed over the township.

Early risers could swear they heard the hum of a jet plane, then the crash and explosion and then again the hum of a jet plane. While the Nahariya civil defense personnel, aided by police and fire brigades, immediately started to evacuate people from the buildings damaged by the plane, extinguishing the small fire that started in a movie theater and treating three persons who were injured, a very curious announcement was heard by the Syrian official spokesman. Syria claimed its planes had attacked the Haifa refineries in reprisal for Israel’s bombing the Syrian oil depots and power stations.

It soon became apparent that Syria had sent two planes to attack the refineries. However, the bombs they were apparently supposed to drop over their targets were instead dropped into the sea off the Nahariya coast and the planes were on their way back to Syria. One of them either developed technical trouble or was hit by his colleague – and crashed over Nahariya. The other returned to Syria reporting “mission completed.” But what mission? Surely not the refineries.

Throughout Sunday the Israeli force on the western bank of the Suez Canal continued its offensive and advance and succeeded in controlling an area 30 kilometers deep and 40 kilometers wide along the canal from the Egyptian side. The force, which was continuously strengthened and supplied, continued with the destruction of artillery positions, liquidating anti-aircraft missile sites and repulsing Egyptian counter-attacks of armor and infantry.

The Egyptians attempted an attack on the eastern side of the canal but were repulsed. In air battles that developed mainly on the west bank of the canal, 20 Egyptian planes were downed.

On the Syrian front there were some artillery attack by the Syrians. After several days of lull, the Syrian airforce went again into action Sunday and II of their planes were soon downed by Israeli fighter planes. Terrorist activity was also registered Saturday night. Scores of rockets and bazooka shells were fired at Israeli settlements along the Lebanese border but neither damage nor casualties were reported. The Metullah settlement was one of the main targets of the terrorists’ attacks.

Israel’s devotion to its injured apparently became known to the enemy. Many Syrians left behind by their colleagues during the retreat came to Israeli army first aid stations and received medical treatment. Some of them said the medical service in the Syrian army was rather poor, in any case, inadequate. A wounded Syrian officer who was captured said he asked his colleagues to be taken with them, but they refused and left him bleeding on the battle field. A document found by Israelis revealed that the Syrians had instructed their soldiers to extricate only wounded officers.

For the first time in the history of the Israeli army a reserve officer was promoted in time of war. Colonel Uri Ben Ari. an officer of the War of Liberation and the Six-Day War, was promoted to rank of Brigadier General. The commander of the southern command, General Shmuel Gonen and General Haim Barlev presented him with the new rank insignias. Ben Ari is the assistant to Gonen and Barlev in handling the southern front battles.

More than a quarter of a million parcels were distributed by the Soldiers Welfare Committee to soldiers since the beginning of the war. The parcels were collected by school children, volunteers and mothers of soldiers. They included underwear, shaving equipment and after shave lotions, stockings, combs, mirrors and ball point pens and writing paper.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund