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Waldheim Denounces Attack Tekoah Raps Libyan Bid at UN for PLO ‘rationale’ for Lydda Airport Massacr

June 9, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Libya’s rationale for the Tel Aviv massacre “is a further example of the Arab governments’ identification with the terror organizations and the responsibility of Arab governments for the murderous activities of these organizations,” Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah charged today in a letter to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. “It is to be observed,” he added, “that Libyan nationals have participated in the operations of the terror organizations.”

Tekoah was responding to a Tuesday letter to Waldheim from Mansur Rashid Kikhia, Libya’s permanent representative since May 4. Kikhia told Waldheim he wanted to “bring to your attention” a statement by the Palestine Liberation Organization, claiming that “no Arab state can be responsible” for the Tel Aviv shootings. The PLO, “regretting” the loss of life, contended that the Tel Aviv shoot-out was a single incident, whereas “the Zionist movement in Israel” has long been responsible for “usurpation,” “occupation” and “terror.” Kikhia said he would be “grateful” for Waldheim’s circulation of the PLO document among United Nations members.

Tekoah wrote of the PLO: “(It) is the roof organ of Arab terror groups openly engaged in the campaign of murder directed against innocent and defenseless civilians. Its memorandum tries to justify the carnage at Lod carried out by agents of the terror organization known as the Popular Front (for the Liberation of Palestine).” Only in the Arab world, the envoy noted, were there “jubilation” over the killings and “attempts to white wash the crime.” Israel and the world, he concluded without elaboration, “cannot be impervious to such policies and actions.”

(In Nicosia, Cyprus, Waldheim said he “deeply deplored” the massacre and called it “detrimental to a finding of a peaceful solution in the Middle East.” He called on the parties to maintain the “utmost restraint” so as to “avoid any further escalation and aggravation.”)

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