MONTREAL (Mar. 2)
The Governing Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) voted 21-1 Friday to “condemn” Israel for the interception and diversion by Israeli Air Force jets of a civilian Libyan aircraft in international airspace over the Mediterranean last February 4.
The sole dissenting vote in the 33-member body was cast by the United States. There were nine abstentions-Japan, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Spain, Sweden and Belgium. Israel, a member of the ICAO but not of its Governing Council, deplored the resolution because it does not refer to terrorism nor mention the reason why Israel intercepted the plane.
The ICAO Governing Council rejected an amendment to the resolution proposed by the British representative which would have substituted the word “deplore” for “condemn” on grounds that “condemnation” was disproportionate in connection with the act since none of the people on the jet were harmed.
The Israeli representative to the ICAO, Yaacov Aviad, who was an observer at the ICAO meeting, warned that the resolution “will not help civil aviation because the interception was a legitimate act of self-defense in the struggle against international terrorism.”