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Eban Takes Issue with Gen. Bennike’s Report on Kibya Raid

October 29, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban today challenged the report submitted yesterday to the U. N. Security Council by Gen. Vagn Bennike, U. N. truce chief, that Israeli armed forces carried out the raid on Kibya village in Jordan.

At a press conference, Mr. Eban emphasized that the statement made by Israel Premier David Ben Gurion to the effect that civilians were responsible for the raid is accurate. “Any other version is inaccurate,” he stated. He added that most of the Israeli border settlers had military training and were Army reservists. “Most certainly the border settlements are armed–the government has given the civilians there arms, ” he declared.

The Israeli delegate said that Gen. Bennike had not accurately reflected the position in Israel when he reported that the state was impatient with the general armistice agreements since they had not been replaced by final settlements. He said the position was that Israel held the view that the armistice agreements should be replaced by final settlements. When he was asked whether any redrawing of the frontiers would help the situation, he replied that such would require agreement.

Mr. Eban also indicated that the Arab states had started the second round of the war against Israel, the second round being a form of guerrilla warfare. “Between the 17th and 20th of November, 1952, the Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Egyptian representatives to the Mixed Armistice Commissions met in Amman, he said. “According to our information, among the decisions of this conference were the following:

“1. The Arabs would seek to limit the scope of the armistice agreements with Israel and refuse to see them as a transition to peace; 2. The Arabs would refuse to make new agreements supplementary to the armistice agreements or to insure their smooth operation; 3. Border incidents would be exploited in order to nullify the armistice agreements; 4. Arab policy would be designed to reduce the activities of the Mixed Armistice Commission to a minimum.”

The Amman agreement, Mr. Eban said, launched the new round of guerrilla warfare which had resulted in so many Israeli citizens being killed and wounded, and was the reason for the Kibya reprisal.

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