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Javits Urges U.S. to Probe Roles in Lydda Massacre of Lebanon, Egypt; Denounces Egyptian Premier

June 8, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R. NY) urged the US government last night to investigate the involvement of Lebanon and Egypt in last Tuesday’s Lydda Airport massacre and, if necessary, to cancel or have American airlines cancel, flights to both those countries. The US government should “require from the government of Lebanon a full accounting of what takes place on its soil involving the murders of Americans,” Sen. Javits said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The Lydda Airport massacre, by three Japanese gunmen trained in Lebanon and in the service of the Beirut-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claimed 25 lives including 16 Puerto Ricans on a pilgrimage to holy places in Israel. “We must demand an investigation to prove or disprove the complicity of those harbored on Lebanese territory in this terrible crime,” Javits said.

He said “the world was appalled that any people, let alone any nation, would claim credit for such a dreadful and brutal mass murder.” Yet, he noted, “credit is being claimed by people in Lebanon who live or are at least harbored there and who seem to be training for such international forays.” Sen. Javits noted that no one has been arrested by the Lebanese authorities although Arab spokesmen have publicly claimed credit for the deed.

He assailed Premier Aziz Sidky of Egypt for describing the massacre as proof that the foes of Israel “are able to achieve victory over Israel.” We are not dealing with Arab-Israeli relations but with the killing of American air travellers and the statement by the No. 2 man of Egypt that he derives satisfaction from it, Javits said. He observed that both Lebanon and Egypt solicit American tourists and said there is a question whether Americans should be encouraged to travel to those countries in light of the recent events. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee of which Javits is a member, met this morning but the Lydda Airport massacre was not on the agenda, a committee aide told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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