WASHINGTON (Jul. 8)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has reiterated the urgency for an international convention to curb aerial hijacking in light of the hijacking of the Air France jet by Palestinian terrorists June 27. Responding to questions after addressing the Council on Foreign Relations and the Mid-America Committee at the Palmer House in Chicago Tuesday, Kissinger noted that “The President has expressed the great gratification of the American people at the rescue of the hostages.”
However, the Secretary said, “It is very difficult to establish a general rule in a situation like this. Clearly, the attack on an airport is an unprecedented act, but equally clear is that the hijacking of airliners, the holding of 100 innocent people for ransom in a situation where the host government, at a minimum, proved impotent to enforce any accepted international law, indicates that we face here a new international problem.”
Kissinger recalled that “The United States, over a period of years, has proposed to the United Nations an international convention where no country would permit hijacked airliners to land or where, automatically, hijacked airplanes that do land are subject to arrest and will receive no support whatever from the government concerned.” Kissinger noted that “For many years we have failed in this effort. We believe that it is essential that some international arrangement be made to deal with terrorism because it can not be tolerated that innocent people become the playthings of international thugs.”
REACTIONS TO RESCUE OPERATION
The American position in the upcoming Security Council debate on the Israeli rescue operation in Uganda is expected to unfold only during
A spokesman for the French Embassy here told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that his government has not reached a decision on its position and was in consultation with the U.S. However, the spokesman said, “You cannot focus on the Israeli operation but what happened before it. Much depends on how the question will be asked in the debate.”
Spokesmen at the embassies of Yugoslavia and India, Third World states that support the Palestinians, conformed to the official silence of their governments on the Israeli rescue operation. The Yugoslavian Communist Party newspaper Borba warned, however, that the Israeli raid set a “dangerous precedent” and said approval of-it-in the West was alarming because it was approval of a violation of Uganda’s sovereignty. The Indian spokesman observed, however, that “the entire press” in India which is under government controls, has shown no sympathy for hijacking because it only hurts the Arab cause. He charged, nevertheless, that Israel’s action was a violation of Uganda’s sovereignty.
HINDUS, SIKHS PRAISE RESCUE
This reporter was in New Delhi when the rescue operation took place and found overwhelming support for Israel’s achievement among Hindus and Sikhs whom he questioned. A Hindu lawyer said he spoke with a dozen of his colleagues about the raid and all backed Israel. Several Sikhs, who are, as a whole, described as extraordinarily strong in favor of Israel, praised the commandos in comments to the JTA. A prominent Sikh from the Punjab said the raid was necessary to show the Palestinians that the Israeli government can and will protect its people.