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Muskie Urges ‘maximum Restraint’ by Arabs, Israelis on West Bank

June 6, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Edmund Muskie urged “maximum restraint on the West Bank” today as concern mounted here over threats and counter-threats in the aftermath of the bomb attacks against Arab mayors in that territory.

“I strongly appeal to both Arabs and Israelis to exercise maximum restraint on the West Bank.” Muskie said in a prepared statement. “Terrorism is unacceptable for any reason by any party. Once begun, the cycle of violence can only lead us away from our fundamental roles. This is a time for cooling down of emotions and for reason to prevail over passion,” Muskie said.

His statement was read to the media by the State Department’s chief spokesman, Hodding Carter, who said it was “precipitated by the physical events of the last few days and now the threats and counter-threats.”

Asked if the statement applied to all Arabs or to the West Bank Arabs alone, implying that it might include the recent resolution by El Fatah to increase its military operations against Israel, Carter replied, “We’re talking in this case about those who live on the West Bank. But the loose designation covers everybody — those who may be tempted to live on the West Bank or whether they live there or not.”

Asked whether the violence on the West Bank would upset the autonomy talks, the State Department spokesman replied, “This entire cycle of violence and deaths by assassination of settlers or maiming of others there” makes the quest for solution of the West Bank problem “more difficult.”

Referring to other developments, Carter said the U.S. is “worried” about developments in south Lebanon. He referred to Israel’s raid on Sidon last night and “the latest of the heavy artillery exchanges” in south Lebanon. He said he did not know whose artillery was engaged. However, he spoke of “growing tension” there and said “we’re worried about these apparent trends.”

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