The United Nations Security Council last night (August 13) began its debate on Israel's interception last Friday (August 10) of an Arab airliner.
GV EXT United Nations building
SCU Lebanese Ambassador speaks (SOUND)
SCU Chinese and French delegates listening
SCU Iraqi Ambassador speaks (SOUND)
SCU Australian delegates listen
SCU Egyptian Ambassador speaks in French
There follows a transcription of the statements on film by the Ambassadors of Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt.
LEBANESE AMBASSADOR, M. EDOUARD GHORRA:
"That conclusion is that Israel has engaged as a State in an act of air piracy, of hijacking, of State terrorism. In other words, Israel has committed an act of State terrorism against international law. It has new the distinction of being the only member State of the United Nations condemned for aggression and kidnapping; now it has added to its record the crime of premeditated and well-planned hijacking. It is an indisputable fact that the Israeli authorities, which conceived, planned and carried out that operation, have either sunk to the level of hijackers, or elevated hijacking to the level of a state policy. In either case, the culpability avowed and defended by General Moshe Dayan, Minister of Defence of Israel, is proven beyond and doubt. This new act, violating Lebanon's air space and sovereignty, breaching international law and endangering the safety of international civil aviation has aroused a storm of worldwide public indignation and condemnation."
IRAQI AMBASSADOR, M. AHMED ABOUL AL-SHAIKHLY:
"It's obvious now that the American vetoes, which prevented the Council last year from adopting a resolution calling for no more than a ceasefire and again a few weeks ago preventing the Council's condemnation of Israel's acts of aggression in the area, have spurred the Zionists in their latest aggression. The persistence of the Zionists in challenging the world organisation should prompt the Council not only to adopt verbal condemnations and further warnings, but rather the immediate steps for the application of disciplinary measures against this international outlaw which has been a member of this organisation, illegally and under false pretences, for far too long."
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Background: 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.