JERUSALEM (Apr. 24)
Israel today expressed the “grave seriousness” with which it views the Council of Europe’s resolution adopted yesterday in Strasbourg, France calling for an amendment of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, recognizing Palestinian “right to self-determination” and condemning Israel for its settlement policy.
“Not only is this not a contribution to peace,” a foreign Ministry statement issued here said, “it is one of a number of recent moves that actually harm the ongoing peace process.” The Camp David accords, the statement noted, were based on Resolution 242 and therefore “any attempt today to undermine the basis of the peace treaty cannot but be interpreted as a desire to damage the peace process itself. “The statement also noted the failure of the Council resolution to condemn recent terrorist acts by the Palestine Liberation Organization such as the attack on Kibbutz Misgav Am April 7 and the attempt this week to blow up an El Al jumbo jet at the Zurich Airport.
The role of PLO terrorism was brought up yesterday by Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in his meeting here with the Ambassadors of the nine European Economic Community nations. He told them that the PLO was responsible for the deaths of at least 20 of the 40 soldiers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) who have been killed since the UN force was established two years ago.
Shamir observed that “People in Israel ask themselves why” the killings by Shi’ite villagers of two Irish soldiers serving with UNIFIL “seems to elicit much more interest and sympathy abroad than the killings of UNIFIL soldiers by the PLO.”
According to Shamir, the “basic situation” in Lebanon is that it is not a free and independent country. “It is occupied by some 30,000 Syrian soldiers and by 15,000 assorted PLO terrorists. The Lebanese government cannot exercise control over these elements who wage their battle against Israel from Lebanese soil, “he said. “This must be taken into account when the periodic violence in that country is assessed.”
It was reported from Dublin, meanwhile, that the 10 countries which contribute troops to UNIFIL have agreed in principle to a request by Ireland for an urgent meeting to discuss the situation in south Lebanon. It was not indicated when or where the meeting would be held. The 10 are Fiji, Ghana, Ireland, France, Norway, Holland, Nigeria, Nepal, Senegal and Italy.