Shamir at UN Assembly Says Israel Attacked PLO Bases in Tunisia Because Terrorists Were Mounting Att
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Shamir at UN Assembly Says Israel Attacked PLO Bases in Tunisia Because Terrorists Were Mounting Att

Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Israel told the General Assembly today that Israel attacked Palestine Liberation Organization bases in Tunisia yesterday “after it became evident that the terrorists were mounting attacks from Tunisia with impunity.”

In his speech to the 40th session of the General Assembly outlining Israel’s foreign policy tenets, Shamir referred briefly to the air attack on Tunisia. He recalled the murder of three Israelis in Larnaca, Cyprus on Yom Kippur day and said that in recent months the PLO headquarters in Tunisia was also responsible for a number of sea-borne attempts against Israel which were foiled by the Israel Navy.

“We had no intention of attacking Tunisia although this country has permitted terrorist bases to exist on its soil,” Shamir declared. “We acted against murderous criminals in order to prevent the continuation of their criminal acts.”

As Shamir spoke, most of the Arab delegates left the hall, but Egypt’s delegate did not. Many other delegates were absent because the Security Council was meeting at the same time. Tunisia had requested the meeting to discuss Israel’s air raid. A draft resolution submitted this afternoon by Tunisia demands reparations from Israel, and international sanctions. (See separate story P. 3.)


The Israeli Foreign Minister opened his speech with an appeal to King Hussein of Jordan to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, “not in some vague, deflecting international forum but in direct, bilateral discussions,” he said.

He reiterated Israel’s rejection of an international conference and said Israel remains totally opposed to negotiations with the PLO.

“There is no change in our deep commitment to the Camp David accords and we stand ready, therefore, to meet a Jordanian delegation which may include Arab Palestinians from Judaea, Samaria and Gaza and other Arab Palestinians to be mutually agreed upon,” Shamir said.

He called on Hussein to follow in the footsteps of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and enter into direct negotiations with Israel. He urged Hussein to “free himself from the clutches of the PLO terrorists,” adding, “the recent marked increase in attacks against Israel stems, among other things, from Hussein’s partnership with the PLO. Jordan cannot extend the olive branch of peace on one hand and play host to terrorists at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive.”


Turning to other aspects of Israel’s foreign policy, Shamir reiterated Israel’s strong opposition to the apartheid policies of the South African government. He said Israel is ready to renew its relations with those African states which still have not renewed diplomatic ties with the Jewish State.

“We believe that many have by now seen who the real friends of Africa are: It is not those who use high-flown words but will not lend a helping hand in time of need and distress, or those who remember Africa only when they need its votes in the UN,” Shamir said.


In the area of disarmament, Shamir said the Middle East is confronted by three main challenges: the reduction of conventional arms; preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons; and eradicating the use of chemical warfare.


Tuming to the plight of Soviet Jewry, the Israeli Foreign Minister charged that there has been no positive change to end oppression of Soviet Jews. Shamir stated:

“Israel seeks good relations with all states, including, naturally, the Soviet Union. We have looked to the new Soviet leadership for signs of change in its attitude toward Soviet Jewry. Regrettably, so far we have seen no positive changes whatsoever. We therefore have no choice but to continue to expose energetically and protest vigorously, these flagrant violations of the rights of our fellow Jews seeking to join their people in Israel. We shall continue to do so until every Soviet Jew who so wishes is free to exercise this basic right.”

Shamir also brought up the plight of Syrian Jewry which, he said, is denied the basic right to emigrate. He also said Israel is deeply concerned about the small, ancient Jewish community left in Ethiopia.

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