Young Unleashes Bitter Attack on Israeli Strikes in South Lebanon

Ambassador Andrew Young of the United States unleashed today a bitter attack on Israeli strikes in south Lebanon, charging the “slaughter of innocent people through random violence.” But Young, who addressed the Security Council debate on the situation in south Lebanon, also made it clear that he condemns Palestinian terrorist raids in Israel.

The outgoing Ambassador, who resigned from his post two weeks ago as a result of his unauthorized meeting with the Palestine Liberation Organization observer here, declared that he was speaking “with the full authority of the United States government.” Saying that the U.S. condemns the terrorist attacks against Israel and that “no political objective can ever justify such barbarism,” Young declared further:

“Just as strongly we condemn the policy of artillery shelling and preemptive attacks on Lebanese towns, villages and refugee camps which Israel and the armed Lebanese groups Israel supports have followed in recent months. Let there be no doubt or ambiguity about this. We cannot and do not agree with Israel’s military policies in Lebanon as manifested in the past few months. They are wrong and unacceptable to my government. They are painfully at variance with the values which Israel has traditionally espoused.”

PRECONDITIONS TO END ‘TERROR AND COUNTER-TERROR’

Young, who is this month’s Security Council President, said that the United States government believes that in order to break the “deadlock of terror and counter-terror in which both sides seem to be caught,” the following preconditions should be followed:

Both sides should cooperate fully with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) “to carry out its mandate.” He said it is “disgraceful” that UNIFIL troops have been the subject of attack by “Palestinian elements and groups supported by Israel,” an apparent reference to the Palestinian terrorists and the Christian militia forces in south Lebanon.

“Israel should end its policy of preemptive strikes on Lebanese soil,” and should “cease its artillery attacks in support of Lebanese militia groups.”

“The Palestinian leadership should help heal the wounds of Lebanon. It should stop attacks on the Lebanese militia groups in southern Lebanon and on Israel. It should carry out its pledge of June 5 to withdraw its fighters from southern Lebanese villages and towns and remove all its armed groups from UNIFIL’s area of operation.”

“All parties to the conflict should carry out and strictly enforce a complete, immediate and lasting halt to all shelling, terrorism and other acts of violence.”

URGES END TO VIOLENCE BY PALESTINIANS

At the conclusion of his speech, Young made reference to last week’s highly publicized meeting of the Security Council on Palestinian rights, declaring he believes there is now an increased understanding in the United States about “the importance of ensuring that the legitimate rights of the Palestinians are Included in a comprehensive settlement” in the Mideast. In view of this development. Young said “It is time for the Palestinian leadership to recognize that their objective cannot be achieved through violence and terrorism. Indeed, it is time, past time, for wiser counsels to prevail on both sides of the border between Lebanon and Israel.”

The Security Council convened today at the request of Lebanon. Lebanese Ambassador Ghassan Tueni also submitted today a memorandum to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim asserting that the situation in south Lebanon had reached a danger point which required urgent measures, “not excluding a request for sanction against Israel if it should continue its policy of defiance and aggression.”

ISRAEL RAPS YOUNG’S STATEMENT

Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador, told the Council that in light of PLO operations from Lebanon, Israel had no choice but to take necessary measures in its own defense. Civilians were inevitably affected, he said, because the PLO operated from refugee camps and villages. He added, however, that Israel supports Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Israeli diplomats at the UN sharply criticized Young’s harsh criticism of Israel, describing it as “a bitter attack.” One Israeli diplomat said the Young speech was probably a “prize for the Arabs’ consent to postpone the Palestinian rights debate last week.” The diplomat also said that Israel rejects out of hand Young’s description of Israeli attacks as counter-terrorism. The Council will resume its debate tomorrow.

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