The United Nations Security Council last night (August 13) began its debate on Israel's interception last Friday (August 10) of an Arab airliner.
The United Nations Security Council last night (August 13) began its debate on Israel's interception last Friday (August 10) of an Arab airliner. The meeting was convened at the request of the Lebanese delegation, which demanded condemnation of the Israeli action "in the strongest terms". The 'plane a Middle East Airlines Caravelle chartered by Iraqi Airways, which had been proceeding from Beirut to Baghdad, was diverted by Israeli jets over Lebanese airspace and forced to land at a military airbase in Northern Israel. There the 82 passengers and crew were searched and interrogated. After two hours, they were allowed to take off again.
Israel's Defence Minister, Mr. Moshe Dayan, admitted later that intelligence reports had indicated the presence on board of Palestinian guerrilla leader Dr. George Habash, whom the Israelis had hoped to capture by forcing the jet down. Dr. Habash, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (P.F.L.P.), had cancelled his booking at the last moment.
An English synopsis is included in the commentary overleaf.