UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 13)
The Arab states are urging the U.N. Security Council to consider using sanctions, if necessary, to get Israel to reverse its expulsion of more than 400 Moslem fundamentalist activists to Lebanon.
Representatives of the Arab states met with the president of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday and asked him to expedite the council’s consideration of the matter.
Japanese Ambassador Yoshio Hatano, who this month holds the council’s rotating presidency, said he would bring the request to the attention of the body’s 15 members.
But according to an Israeli official, Hatano also told the Arab representatives that a U.N. envoy who traveled to the Middle East this week in an attempt to resolve the issue might be sent back to the region for further discussions.
The envoy, Chinmaya Gharekhan, was in Paris on Wednesday, briefing U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on his mission.
“When you put it all together, it’s clear they’re rolling it over to the incoming Clinton administration,” said the Israeli official.
The Arab representatives gave Hatano a copy of a resolution approved Tuesday in Cairo at the end of an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.
The statement calls on the Security Council “to take adequate measures, including the application of the rules of Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, to oblige Israel to implement Resolution 799 immediately.”
Resolution 799 of Dec. 18 calls on Israel to return the deportees. Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter enables the Security Council to impose sanctions for failure to comply with resolutions.
Israeli officials have said they believe the United States will veto any attempt to impose sanctions on Israel over this issue, though the State Department has publicly refused to make such a promise.
The Arab representatives also asked Hatano to invite the Israeli ambassador for a meeting, at which he could express his concern over the situation. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Israelis had yet to receive the invitation.