TEL AVIV (Aug. 11)
Knesset member Yossi Sarid cut short a humanitarian mission to the Balkan states and returned unexpectedly to Israel on Tuesday, having failed in his attempt to reach the war-torn former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Sarid, who was dispatched to the region over the weekend to coordinate Israeli relief efforts, had hoped to get to the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, so that he could arrange for the delivery and distribution of the medical and other aid being assembled by Israel.
But because of the fighting and transportation difficulties, he remained stranded in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.
Sarid criticized the United Nations for not making more of an effort to help him get to the Bosnian capital. But he vowed Israeli relief supplies would get through anyway, and he said he would return to Croatia to oversee the distribution of the goods to needy people on a nonsectarian basis.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin pledged Tuesday that the Jewish state would not rest until the “human tragedy” taking place in Bosnia Herzegovina had ended.
Reports of Serbian-instigated atrocities against Moslem and Croatian civilians have shocked the world in recent days, prompting comparisons with Nazi activities during World War II.
“The Jewish people, having suffered persecution throughout history, cannot remain indifferent to such tragedies. The killing must stop,” Rabin said at a joint news conference with President Bush at Bush’s vacation home in Maine.
“Let us hope that those tortured people will find peace,” he added.
Bush, for his part, said he and Rabin had agreed that “the world must act to bring an end to this humanitarian nightmare that now exists in what was Yugoslavia.”