JERUSALEM (May. 15)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger reacted with unconcealed anger today to the terrorist outrage at Maalot and demanded that “all responsible governments…make clear that whatever their political differences, such inhuman acts must be condemned and those who carry them out dealt with severely.” He said he was “shocked and outraged to learn of the attack by fedayeen terrorists against a teen-age campsite in Maalot early this morning and against other innocent civilians in the same area. Our hearts go out to the families and all of Israel,” Dr. Kissinger said.
His statement was read to newsmen by U.S. Ambassador-at-large Robert J. McCloskey, a member of Kissinger’s entourage currently attempting to effect an Israeli-Syrian disengagement agreement. “The U.S. government strongly condemns this mindless and irrational action and appeals to those holding innocent hostages to release them,” the Kissinger statement continued. The statement which was made earlier in the day, concluded:
“Violence such as this will serve no cause but to undermine the prospects for peace in this area. We further believe that it is time for all responsible governments to make clear that whatever their political differences, such inhuman acts must be severely condemned and those who carry them out dealt with severely.”
McCloskey was asked by newsmen if today’s events caused second thoughts about U.S. support for the Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s April 12 commando raid into Lebanon following the Kiryat Shemona massacre of April 11. McCloskey replied. “It is always the intention and desire of the United States to vote on the merits and no one incident may be the same as the other.” He added that he would “not want to anticipate a vote. I think the sense of outrage is reflected in the Secretary’s statement.”
In Rome today, Pope Paul VI condemned the terrorist attack in Maalot. A cable sent by the Vatican Secretary of State Jean Cardinal Villot to the Papal delegate in Jerusalem Msgr. Pio Laghi, said the Pontiff was “saddened by the very grave act of violence in Maalot today which he profoundly deplores as repugnant to the conscience of humanity.”
The Pope’s message, issued this morning, added that the Pontiff was “particularly concerned” about the fate of the hostages and called on Msgr. Laghi to inform the Israeli authorities and through them, the families of the children, of his “participation in their anguish and the assurance of his prayers to the Most High.” Pope Paul appealed for the avoidance of further bloodshed “so that the young hostages can be restored without delay, unharmed, to their homes.”