WASHINGTON (Jun. 6)
Jeane Kirk-patrick, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, implied today that Israel has exercised its right of national self-defense by moving its troops across the Lebanese border in response to shelling of northern Israeli settlements by Palestine Liberation Organization terrorist forces.
“If it is true … that the PLO has been shelling Israel heavily from emplacements in Lebanon, then it would not be unreasonable for Israel to seek to exercise its right under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter which provides for national self defense,” Kirkpatrick said in an interview on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press” program. “That would not be an unreasonable move.”
Kirkpatrick appeared on the program just hours after Israeli troops moved across the border. She said the United States was taking the situation “very, very seriously. At every moment there is a possibility for escalation and too often that possibility for escalation becomes reality.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Moshe Arens, said in on interview on the ABC-TV “This Week with David Brinkley,” program that the movement of Israeli troops was a “clear cut single mission” to drive Palestinian terrorist forces out of rocket and artillery range of northern Israeli settlements. He estimated this to be 25 miles north of the border.
Kirkpatrick meanwhile maintained that the Administration does not consider the cease-fire to have broken down despite the current hostilities across the border. “We would say that the episodes of violation of the cease-fire … seem to have occurred on both sides. Therefore it would obviously not be reasonable or balanced or fair to simply point the finger of blame at one side for not responding” to the United Nations Security Council resolution passed Saturday calling for a cease-fire.