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Eshkol Says Israel Will Defend Itself Against Syria if Need Arises

October 17, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol warned here today that a situation may arise in which Israel may be forced to “settle accounts” with Syria and that, in such an event, this country would be able to give a good account of itself.

Addressing a public meeting held by the Mapai-Achdut Avodah alignment, the dominant factor in Israel’s present Government, Mr. Eshkol said that the territory and sovereignty of Israel will be defended by every means at the Government’s disposal.

Referring to the current debate of the situation on the Israel-Syrian border before the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Eshkol said that censure of Syria by a majority of members of the Council would, in itself, be an important asset to Israel. He said that, while the incidents of Syrian-backed El Fatah terrorists were being taken up at the United Nations, “a reply can also be given here, if need be.”

Asked during a question period about the demonstration in New York Friday by members of the American Zionist Brith Trumpeldor youth organization, in the offices of the Syrian U.N. delegation, Mr. Eshkol said it was an “unimportant, stupid and childish incident which deserves no further comment.”

The Premier will review the latest developments in Israel’s security situation tomorrow when he delivers a major policy statement at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. Mr. Eshkol’s statement, which will include a review of Israel’s appeal to the Security Council on the latest Syrian attacks, will be followed by debate.

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