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5 June 1967
1347 MEETING : 5 June 1967
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1347/Rev.1) 1
Adoption of the agenda 1
Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902) 1
Complaint of the representative of the United Arab Republic in a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled: “Israel aggressive Policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace and security in the Middle East and endangering
international peace and security” (S/7907) 1
Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the President of The Security Council (S/7910) 1
Held on 5 June 1967, at 9.30 a.m.
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902).
3. Complaint of the representative of the United Arab Republic in a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled: "Israel aggressive policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace and security in the Middle East and endangering international peace and security" (S/7907).
4. Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7910).
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted
Letter dated 23 May 1967 from the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Denmark addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7902)
Complaint of the Representative of the United Arab, Republic in a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 May 1967 entitled: "Israel aggressive Policy, its repeated aggression threatening peace and security in the Middle East and endangering international peace and security" (S/7907)
Letter dated 29 May 1967 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7910)
The PRESIDENT: In accordance wit decision previously taken by the Council, and with the consent of the Council, I now invite the representatives of Israel, the United Arab Republic, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber in order to participate without vote in the discussion.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. G. Rafael (Israel), Mr. M. A. El Kony (United Arab Republic), Mr. M. H. El-Farra (Jordan), Mr. A. Daoudy (Syria), Mr. G. Hakim (Lebanon), Mr. A. Pachachi (Iraq), Mr. A. T. Benhima (Morocco), Mr. G. Al-Rachach (Saudi Arabia) and Mr. G. A. Al-Rashid (Kuwait) took the places reserved for them.
2. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council will now continue its discussion of the three items inscribed on its agenda. I would draw the attention of members to a letter dated 5 June 1967 which I received this morning from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Republic to the United Nations and which has been circulated as document S/7926.
3. It will be recalled that the 1346th meeting of the Security Council, on 3 June, was adjourned on the understanding that members of the Council should hold themselves available for an urgent meeting of the Council before Monday afternoon, 5 June, in case of any new developments which might require the convening of the Council.
4. At 3.10 this morning, the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations informed me officially, in my capacity as President of the Security Council, as follows:
“I have just received reports that Egyptian land and air forces have moved against Israel and Israel forces are now engaged in repelling the Egyptian forces”
5. The Israel Permanent Representative told me that he wished to make an urgent communication about this to the Security Council when it was convened. He then read the following communiqué from the Israel Defense Forces:
"Since the early hours of this morning fierce fighting has broken out between Egyptian air and armored forces, which moved against Israel, and our forces, which went into action to contain them."
6. At 3.30 this morning the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Republic informed me as follows:
"Israel has committed a treacherous premeditated aggression against the United Arab Republic this morning. The Israelis launched attacks against the Gaza Strip, Sinai, airports in Cairo, in the Suez Canal area and several other airports within the United Arab Republic Preliminary reports indicate that twenty-three Israel airplanes have been shot down and that several Israel pilots have been captured.
"In repelling this aggression, I wish to inform you, upon instructions from my Government, that it has decided to defend itself by all means, in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations."
7. Information which I have received from the Secretary-General confirms that exchanges of fire and air activity have been going on in the area since the early hours of this morning.
8. In the light of that information I felt it my duty, in the exercise of my responsibilities as President of the Security Council, to convene the Council for this urgent meeting.
9. I now call upon the Secretary-General to make a report on the actual situation in the area.
10. The SECRETARY-GENERAL Mr. President, in response to your invitation I present to the Council all the information that I have received from United Nations sources in the Middle East on the outbreak of hostilities. Of course, the United Nations sources have no means of ascertaining how the hostilities were initiated. As usual reports coming from the parties are conflicting, but all agree that serious military action on land and in the air is taking place at a number of points and is spreading.
11. I have instructed both the Chief of Staff c f the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and the Commander of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to keep reporting urgently all information available to them and I shall keep members of the Council informed as new information comes in. This information is unavoid-ably fragmentary.
12. As far as information from the United Nations Emergency Force is concerned, it must be remembered that the Force is no longer on the Line, but is concentrated in its camps and is in the process of withdrawal. The information given by the Commander of the Emergency Force is therefore, of necessity, somewhat general, and much of it has been given to the Commander by the United Arab Republic liaison service in Gaza.
13. General Rikhye, Commander of UNEF, reported that at 0800 hours local time today two Israel aircraft violated United Arab Republic air space over Gaza town. One of these aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and fell into the sea. The pilot bailed out and was picked up by a motor-launch. Also at 0800 hours local time, two Israel aircraft violated United Arab Republic air space over El Arish and were fired on by anti-aircraft guns. The United Arab Republic claims one Israel aircraft was shot down. Personnel of the Emergency Force in Rafah Camp reported heavy firing between United Arab Republic and Israel forces across the international frontier south of Rafah, starting at 0800 hours local time. United Arab Republic authorities in Gaza informed General Rikhye of a large-scale Israel air raid throughout the United Arab Republic including a raid on Cairo. I am informed that Israel has denied the report of the raid on Cairo. The United Arab Republic authorities also informed General Rikhye that at 0800 hours local time Israel forces had attacked El Kusei in Sinai. At 0915 hours local time, United Arab Republic artillery in Gaza started firing towards Israel-controlled territory. Firing stopped at 0930 hours local time but, resumed again at 1000 hours local time. The Commander of UNEF is taking all possible steps to ensure the security of UNEF personnel still in the area.
14. General Bull, Chief of Staff of UNTSO, has informed me that firing in Jerusalem commenced at 1125 hours local-time and was continuing. General Bull requested an immediate cease-fire at the highest local levels. The senior Jordanian delegate to the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission accepted a cease-fire for 1200 hours local time. In a meeting between General Bull and the Israel authorities on the morning of 5 June, General Bull was informed that United Arab Republic planes had crossed the border and that Israel aircraft had been sent to meet them.
15. At 1145 hours local time, Israel informed General Bull of its acceptance of his request for a cease-fire at 1200 hours local time. Most firing had ceased by 1210 hours local time, although a few mortar rounds continued to be fired from Jordan and near Mount Scopus. One mortar round landed in the Government House compound, which is the headquarters of UNTSO. No casualties are reported.
16. Since sporadic mortar firing from Jordan continued after the cease-fire, a second cease-fire was proposed for 1230 hours local time and accepted by both sides.
17. On the Israel-Syrian armistice demarcation line, United Nations military observers reported over-flights by Syrian jet fighters between 1155 hours and 1206 hours local time on 5 June and reported air battles, anti-aircraft fire and explosions from aircraft bombing. The senior Israel delegate to the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission informed the UNTSO officer-in-charge at Tiberias, at 1218 hours local time, that Israel considered itself in a state of war with Syria. The Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission reported that Damascus airport was being attacked by Israel aircraft at 1110 hours local time
18. The Commander of UNEF reported that at 1245 hours local time Israel artillery opened fire on two camps of the Indian contingent of UNEF which were in the process' of being abandoned, and soon thereafter United Arab Republic tanks surrounded one of the camps which still contains one reduced Indian company. Orders have been given for the Indian personnel in both camps to be withdrawn immediately.
19. General Rikhye also reported that a UNEF convoy immediately south of Khan Yunis on the road between Gaza and Rafah was strafed by an Israel aircraft on the morning of 5 June, although the vehicles, like all UNEF vehicles, are painted white. First reports indicate that three Indian soldiers were killed and an unknown number wounded in this attack. The Commander of UNEF has sent an urgent message through the Chief of Staff of UNTSO to the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces urging him again to give orders to Israel Armed Forces to refrain from firing on UNEF camps, buildings and vehicles.
20. After hostilities began on the morning of 5 June, the Chief of Staff of UNTSO drew the attention of Israel and Jordan to the inviolability of the Government House area and asked them to ensure that this inviolability would be fully respected. Both sides gave him the required assurance. However, at 1330 hours local time today approximately one company of Jordanian soldiers occupied the garden of the Government House. General Bull in person protested to the Commander and asked him to withdraw his troops. He also protested in the strongest terms to the senior Jordanian delegate to the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission against the violation of United Nations premises by Jordanian soldiers, whose withdrawal within half an hour he demanded. He also informed the Israel authorities of these developments and requested them to ensure that Israel soldiers would not enter the Government House area. By then an exchange of fire had already begun between the Jordanian soldiers in the Government House garden and Israel soldiers nearby. General Bull later informed me by an emergency message that Jordanian troops had not with-drawn and were demanding to enter Government House itself and had demanded that no telephone calls be made from Government House. Firing was continuing and mortar shells were now landing within the Government House compound. United Nations Headquarters lost radio contact with UNTSO headquarters in Jerusalem at 0852 hours New York time, at which time Jordanian troops occupied Government House
/. This also means that United Nations Headquarters has lost direct contact with headquarters UNEF, whose messages are routed through UNTSO.
21. In view of these developments I have addressed the following urgent appeal to the King of Jordan:
"Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
"I have just been advised at 0900 hours local time that all communications with Government House have ended because of its occupation by Jordanian troops. This is a breach of extreme seriousness. I appeal to Your Majesty with utmost urgency to order the immediate removal of Jordanian troops from the grounds and buildings of the Government House compound in Jerusalem. As Your Majesty knows, this compound has been respected by both parties to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission as the headquarters of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and there-fore under the exclusive United Nations occupation and control.
"Secretary-General of the United Nations"
22. The PRESIDENT
I thank the Secretary-General for his report.
23. The representative of India has asked to make a brief statement. The member of the Council whose name is on my list of speakers has yielded so that the representative of India may now make this brief statement. I call on the representative of India.
24. Mr. PARTHASRATHI
(India): We are meeting at a grave hour. We have listened to the sombre report presented by the Secretary-General on the serious developments in the Middle East. I shall speak again on this situation, but my purpose in intervening now is to express our profound shock and grief at learning from the Secretary-General that three members of the Indian contingent of the United Nations Emergency Force have been killed and an unknown number wounded in a wanton strafing attack by Israel on the withdrawing columns of these forces.
25. Our soldiers went to the area ten years ago, as sentinels of peace and in the service of the international community. That Israel armed forces should have attacked treacherously and brutally these soldiers of ours makes them martyrs in the cause of peace. We condemn this Israel action and protest most vigorously against it. I reserve, my Government's right to take further action in accordance with international law and practice.
26. All I can say now is that my Government feels that the Council should condemn this wanton, irresponsible and brutal action by the ruling circles in Israel. I hope that henceforth the security of the remaining UNEF forces in the process of withdrawal will be safeguarded.
27. The PRESIDENT: The members of the Council have heard the official communications which I have received from the Permanent Representatives of Israel and the United Arab Republic, and the report of the Secretary-General on the actual situation in the area, in so far as it has been possible to collect information through the means at the disposal of the Secretary-General.
28. The representatives of Israel and the United Arab Republic have asked to make statements to the Council. I would suggest that the best course we might follow under the prevailing circumstances would be for the Council to hear the two parties and then to have a short recess for urgent consultations among the members as to the course of action to be taken by the Council in this emergency situation. If there is no objection, I shall take it that the Council agrees to follow this procedure.
It was so decided.
29. I now invite the representative of Israel to take a place at the Council table in order to make his statement.
30. Mr. RAFAEL (Israel): I wish to draw the Council's attention to the grave news that fighting has erupted on Israel frontiers and that the Israel Defense Forces are now repelling the Egyptian Army and Air Force. I have so far received only first reports about the developments. From these it is evident that in the early hours of this morning Egyptian armored columns moved in an offensive thrust against Israel's borders. At the same time Egyptian planes took off from airfields in Sinai and struck out towards Israel. Egyptian artillery in the Gaza Strip shelled the Israel villages of Kissufim, Nahal-Oz and Ein Hashelosha. Netania and Kefar Yavetz have also been bombed. Israel forces engaged the Egyptians in the air and on land, and fighting is still going on.
31. This is a situation of the utmost gravity. Though the reports in my possession are incomplete, one thing is already clear: the huge armies which Egypt had concentrated in Sinai in the last fortnight are now carrying out the order of the day of their commander, General Mortagi, who said on 3 June:
"The eyes of the whole world are on you in your glorious war against the Israelis' aggressiveness on the soil of your homeland, hoping to see the outcome of your holy war victory for the rights of the Arab people.
"The outcome of this special moment is of historic importance for our Arab people and its holy war for restoring the rights of the Arabs which were plundered from them in Palestine. Reconquer the stolen land with God's help and the power of justice and with the strength of your arms and your united faith."
32. The Egyptian forces met with the immediate response of the Israel Defense Forces, acting in self-defense. In accordance with Article 51 of the Charter, I bring this development to the immediate attention of the Security Council:
33. The Israel Minister of Defense addressed the following message to the Israel Defense Forces:
"Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces: We have no aim of conquest Our sole objectives are to put an end to the Arab attempt to conquer our land and to suppress the blockade and the belligerence mounted against us. Egypt has recruited and taken command of the armed forces of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. Military units from Kuwait to Algeria have joined them. Their numbers are greater than ours, but we will prevail over them. We are a small but brave people. We want peace, but we are ready to fight for our land and our lives."
34. I am, to the best of my ability, remaining in communication with my Government in Jerusalem and I shall keep the Council informed of further developments.
35. The PRESIDENT: I now invite the representative of the United Arab Republic and ask him to take his seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
36. Mr. EL KONY (United Arab Republic): At this moment while I am addressing the Security Council, and for several hours now, the Israel Armed Forces and the Israel Air Force have again committed a cowardly and, treacherous aggression against my country. Airports in Cairo, right in the heart of the United Arab Republic, airports in the Suez Canal area, far away from the demarcation lines, and other airports have been bombarded since the early morning of today. The preliminary reports indicate that dozens of Israel airplanes were shot down and several pilots captured.
37. This treacherous aggression was accompanied by other acts of aggression in Gaza and Sinai, and heavily against Khan Yunis. One of the captured pilots was interrogated and appeared on United Arab Republic television, admitting that he was earlier instructed to attack Cairo airport today at 6 o'clock in the morning, Cairo local time.
38. The Israelis, moreover, in an attempt to block the Suez Canal and thereby hinder world navigation in that waterway, have bombed a tanker in the canal.
39. Reports indicate that the dimensions of the Israel attack are so wide that no one can doubt the premeditated nature of this aggression. Israelis are attacking, all of a sudden and simultaneously, the Gaza strip, Sinai, Cairo airports, and Sharm el Sheikh, together with other places. And yet we have just been told that the Israelis did not initiate any action and that they were in fact attacked by us.
40. These Israel manoeuvres are not new. The happenings of the early hours of the day indicate beyond doubt that the Israelis have, as usual, engineered and planned this aggression of today.
41. We cannot but recall history, which is in fact repeating itself today. The world has indeed not forgotten the black days of 1956 when Israel, in defiance of all norms of law and decency and in flagrant contravention of the United Nations Charter, planned and engineered the treacherous aggression of those evil days against my country. At that time also they said that they were the victims in essence, the same story. But who is not aware of the facts, the real and staggering story?
42. They are repeating themselves in this. They are continuing their defiance of the United Nations and its Charter, in accordance with their designed policy. This happens at a time when the. Council has been thoroughly actively and constructively engaged in finding a way for securing the utmost restraint and in seeking a method to avoid any actions that would aggravate the situation.
43. While we in the United Arab Republic, both within and without this Organization, have declared our intention not to initiate any offensive action and have fully co-operated in the attempts that were made to relieve the tension in the area, Israel has never reciprocated this declaration of ours.
44. We have, furthermore, requested formally that the Council examine the status of the Egyptian-Israel General Armistice Agreement and we have, moreover, proposed definite measures to bolster the United Nations machinery in the area in an endeavour to lessen the tension and keep the peace. This, as you know, was not the view of Israel.
45. You all know, as was announced yesterday, that the Vice-President of the United Arab Republic, together with the Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, was scheduled to arrive in Washington the day after tomorrow for talks on the subject. This amply proves our peaceful intention and goodwill.
46. The record of my country is known. The shameful record of the Israelis is vivid in our minds. They have established their policy on aggression, premeditated aggression, and again today the evidence indicates beyond doubt that the aggression of today was a further calculated, premeditated and carefully planned one.
47. I have just received the following information by cable from my Government, and with your permission, Mr. President, I shall read it to the Council. My Foreign Ministry has announced the following statement:
"Israel conspiracy getting clearer. While Israel started aggression today, morning, on United Arab Republic by air raiding airports Cairo and Suez Canal zones, Israel United Nations delegate claimed United Arab Republic started aggression trying deceiving world and putting responsibility of starting fighting on United Arab Republic. But Israel conspiracy started getting clearly uncovered after few hours as Israel aircraft attacked French tanker crossing Suez Canal; United Arab Republic air forces repelled them, forcing them to flee. It is clear Israel aims at two objects: first, hampering navigation through Suez Canal, second, pulling third party into conflict. United Arab Republic draws attention all na-tions to Israel conspiracy and clarify the Israel aggressive objectives towards Suez Canal and its pulling other parties into armed conflict which Israel started.”
48. I shall read out another statement from the Foreign Ministry:
"Foreign Minister received French Ambassador to Cairo and made clear Israel started aggression today on United Arab Republic as Israel Air Force raided Egyptian airports in Cairo and Suez Canal zone; also made clear Israel Air Force attacked French tanker while crossing Suez Canal. Foreign Minister made clear that Israel tries putting responsibility on United Arab Republic for starting aggression, also hampering navigation through Suez Canal and pulling third party into current armed conflict."
49. I should also like to read out the following statement:
"Foreign Minister informed United States Ambassador to Cairo that Israel started aggression this morning on United Arab Republic by air raiding Egyptian airfields in Cairo and Suez Canal zone and that our armed forces repelled aggressors."
50. The following is a military announcement:
"Nine Israel pilots were captured. Israel Captain Lavo Mervekhay confessed his unit received orders to attack United Arab Republic at 6 a.m. today; task was attacking Egyptian El Mureig airfield, his unit carried attack from Israel military airfield Jackor. This clear evidence proves Israel started aggression."
51. Without entering into the details of the Secretary-General's factual report, I would ask: Is there any doubt about the movements and actions committed by Israel? I submit that the report speaks for itself, as it makes clear that the Israel Air Force started this aggression at 8 a.m. local time, which coincided with the bombing of Cairo airports, proving that this was a concerted and co-ordinated aggression.
52. Moreover, the Israelis not only committed aggression against the inhabitants of the Gaza strip, but also attacked the United Nations Emergency Force. I beg the Indian delegation to accept our profound expression of sympathy; we hope that the condolences of our delegation will be conveyed to the families of the victims.
53. In view of this treacherous aggression, my country has no other choice than to defend itself by all means at its disposal, in accordance with Article 5 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. We will most certainly continue to do so. This aggression should be vigorously condemned by the Security Council.
54. The PRESIDENT: The Council will now, in accordance with the decision already taken, recess for urgent consultations. I would ask all members of the Council to hold themselves available for these consultations.
The meeting was suspended at 11.15 a.m. and resumed at 10.20 p.m.
55. The PRESIDENT: I should like first to draw the attention of the Council to the supplemental information submitted by the Secretary-General in document S/7930, a report which only stresses the very grave situation prevailing in the Middle East.
56. I do wish to apologize to members of the Council for having kept them waiting most of the day. I had hoped indeed that the recess would be considerably shorter. However, consultations are still going on; they have been going on the whole day without any recess. They are still going on, as I have said, and will continue tomorrow morning.
57. I understand that it is the wish of members of the Council that we should adjourn now until tomorrow morning at 11.30. 1 would ask members of the Council to hold themselves available for consultations about an hour before the scheduled time of the meeting tomorrow morning.
58. If there is no objection, I shall take it that it is so decided.
It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 10.25 p.m.
/ In the interest of historical accuracy, it is to be noted that the report that Jordanian troops had "occupied" Government House was originally based on incomplete information owing to a communicaitons breakdown caused by the events in the Government House area. On the basis of a review of events and a checking with the Chief of Staff of UNTSO, it was later determined that the actual facts as regards the reported entry of Jordanian troops into Government House on 5 June 1967 were as follows: at approximately 1445 hours local time, three Jordanian soldiers entered Government House over the protest of UNTSO, but were persuaded by UNTSO staff to leave the building after about ten minutes.