Tekoah Accuses Egypt, Syria of Inhuman Conduct Toward Israeli Pows

Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah accused the Egyptian and Syrian governments today of “inhuman conduct” with regard to Israeli prisoners of war in their hands and asked Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to give his “urgent attention to the fact that the Egyptians and Syrians are persisting in their violations of the Geneva Convention.” The seriousness of these violations and the guilt of the governments concerned “are aggravated by the continuation of these breaches,” Tekoah said in a letter to the Secretary General. It was his second letter on the subject to Waldheim since Oct. 24. In today’s letter Tekoah cited a communique released in Geneva last night by the International Committee of the Red Cross which confirmed that since the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East Oct. 6 it has been “insistent in obtaining lists of POWs” and visits to them by IRC representatives.

The communique said that its representations “have been without any results in Syria while in Egypt the 48 names furnished some ten days ago and a visit to a few of the wounded are only a first step which has not been followed by any other since.” On the other hand, the Red Cross communique stated that “It has obtained satisfaction from the Israeli authorities…to this day,” Tekoah noted in his letter. The Israeli envoy added that the “inhuman conduct of the Egyptian and Syrian governments on the question of POWs is a matter of utmost gravity requiring most urgent efforts to bring about Egypt’s and Syria’s compliance with their international obligations.” Tekoah requested that his letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

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