MONTREAL (Oct. 22)
The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) condemned Israel last night for the “violation of Tunisian airspace by Israel which endangered international civil aviation.” The United States delegate, Edmund Stohr, disassociated the U.S. from the resolution because “I think that the terrorist action against Israel should have been taken into consideration.”
This was a reference to the terrorist attack in Larnaca, Cyprus, in which three Israelis were killed October 25, Yom Kippur day. On October 1, Israel Air Force planes destroyed the PLO’s military and political headquarters in Tunisia. Israel said at the time that the attack was aimed solely at the PLO terrorist base, not against Tunisia.
Robert Sabel, a legal advisor to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and head of Israel’s delegation to the ICAO meeting, said “Israel regrets that the matter was submitted to the ICAO jurisdiction because it is a political matter which does not concern the civil aviation organization. The punitive action against the PLO headquarters was one in self-defense.”
The resolution adopted last night by the Council stated: “The Council urges Israel to refrain from committing any further action which might endanger the safety of international civil aviation and calls upon all states to conform to their obligation under the Chicago convention of December 7, 1944.” The Council acted after Tunisia lodged a protest against “the flagrant violation of Tunisian airspace.”
The vote on last night’s resolution was unanimous except for the United States. Israel is not a member of the Council.