Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search
Attaque sur As Samu - Action du Conseil de sécurité/Question de Palestine (Dernier point de considération) - Procès-verbal du Conseil de sécurité

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||

Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS


        Security Council
S/PV.1328 (OR)
25 November 1966



Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1328)

Adoption of the agenda
The Palestine question:
Letter dated 15 November 1966 from the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7587)

Held in New York, on Friday, 25 November 1966, at 11.30 a.m.


President: Mr. Arthur J. GOLDBERG
(United States of America).

Present: The representative of the following States: Argentina, Bulgaria, China, France, Japan, Jordan, Mali, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Uruguay.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1328)

1. Adoption of the agenda.

2. The Palestine question:
Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The Palestine question

Letter dated 15 November 1966 from the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/7587)

1. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the decision taken previously [1320th meeting], I shall, with the consent of the Council, invite the representative of Israel to take a seat at the Council table.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. M. Comay (Israel) took a place at the Council table.

1. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council will not resume its consideration of the question on the agenda. The resolution was submitted by Nigeria and Mali yesterday [S/7598]. The first speaker on my list this morning is the representative of Uganda. He now has the floor.

2. Mr. KIRONDE (Uganda): In taking the floor for the of explaining my delegation’s vote, I have no intention of taking up much of the Council’s time. In a previous statement, yesterday [1327th meeting], the substance of the matter before use, I indicated general misgivings on the way in which the Security Council has been handling the burning issues which before it. I indicated that we had been reduced the mere drafting committee, and that this was a great failure, on our part, in the discharge of the duties entrusted to us.

4. What we have before us now is another document, to which we have been asked to subscribe. What we have before us is a mere statement of the situation. For patient who is dying, or is in desperate circumstances, we do not even go so far as to prescribe an aspirin, or any sort of medication. We do not give advice on what should be done to avoid a future recurrence; all we do here is just state the case and leave it at that. My delegation is very unhappy about this. In the view of my delegation, nothing has happened in the Middle East, in the recent past, just out of the blue. There has been some relation between any one incident and another incident, and, in my view, it would be a failure on our part if we were to treat any one incident without regard to the prevailing circumstances.

5. But apart from that, I feel very strongly, on behalf of my delegation, that it is the duty of this Council to prescribe remedies for any one particular malady that may afflict the international situation. It is the duty of this Council to make proposals, to come forward with something that we regard as being helpful and useful. It is not enough for us just to draft a paper and hand it to one of the parties concerned.

6. In failing to follow the example of my African colleagues, I did so not because I am unaware of the gravity of the situation prevailing in Jordan and Israel; not because I am insensitive to the wishes of my colleague, the representative of Jordan, but because I felt that it would be wrong for me to co-sponsor a document which would not be useful or helpful, but I am also aware that something should be done in the area--and I am one of those who believe that the best should not be made the enemy of the good. On behalf of my delegation, I should like to express the very strong reservations which we have on the present draft resolution.

7. Mr. CORNER (New Zealand): The position of the New Zealand Government was set out fully in the statement which I made at the 1322nd meeting. I stated that New Zealand could not condone an act of retaliation such as that launched against Jordan on 13 November 1966 and acknowledged that the Council was bound, but the documents and principles that govern it, to pronounce its firm condemnation of this action by the Government of Israel. I went on, however, to note that if the matter were to be dealt with in a manner which fulfills the responsibilities of the Security Council, such censure, however merited, should be accompanied by fair acknowledgement of the total situation within which the act of retaliation took place, and by constructive proposals aimed at providing the means whereby the recurrence of violence might most effectively be checked.

6. This is the standpoint from which we have examined the draft resolution submitted by Nigeria and Mali. We have borne in mind the appeal made by the representative of Nigeria for acceptance of the text in a spirit of tolerance, and in spite of its admitted imperfections. We have taken into account the faintly positive elements constituted by the fifth and more especially the sixth preambular paragraphs. We acknowledge the intentions which we trust lie behind the final operative paragraph, which seems to us to make clear the continued authority of the Secretary-General to keep the whole situation under review and to make recommendations to the Council, as he may judge appropriate, on ways of preserving peace, perhaps, for example, through improved methods of supervision of the implementation of the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan. 1/ We have welcomed the constructive remarks in this regard made by a number of members, which are a further element assisting the Secretary-General in his interpretation of his responsibilities in implementing the wishes of the Council.

9. Yet, when these various factors have been taken into account, can the Council, in all honesty, maintain that it will be making an adequate response to the situation, if it does no more than adopt a draft resolution in these terms? When the Council has, over a period of months, been confronted with a rapidly deteriorating situation, it is really acquitting itself of its task by confining itself to the comparatively easy course of meting out censure? What shall we really have done even to help equalize, let alone reduce, the stresses and strains which pull at a frame of reference which must be seen as a whole?

10. Similar thoughts about the Council’s performance generally were expressed at its meeting yesterday, and again today, by the representative of Uganda. I am sure that they touched a responsive chord in a number of listeners, as they did in my delegation.

11. The New Zealand Government, for its part, is unable to conclude that the present draft resolution affords a positive response to the questions which I have posed, any more than to the situation that it is said to meet, or even the requirements enunciated by a number of those supporting it. In these circumstances, my delegation, while not retracing in any way the position which it has adopted on the Israel action on 13 November, which, I repeat, the New Zealand Government cannot condone, is unable to reconcile its view of the duties of the Security Council in the present circumstances with support for the draft resolution before the Council. We see no other course open to us therefore at the stage we have reached, and given the lack of success which has attended efforts to produce any more constructive a text, than to abstain in the vote which is to take place.

12. Mr. DE BEUS (Netherlands): Now that we have come to the conclusion of our deliberations on the complaint of Jordan against Israel, my delegation would like, first of all, to commend those members of the Council who have labored so hard to draft a resolution.

13. The draft resolution which was submitted yesterday by Mali and Nigeria will, as indicated by the representative of Nigeria yesterday, not satisfy all members of the Council. Several members would have preferred a more comprehensive text and my delegation is one of those. I should like to explain why.

14. My delegation made it abundantly clear in its intervention [1323rd meeting] that we deeply deplore the Israel attack on Jordan. We also made it clear that, in our opinion, Jordan cannot be held responsible for acts of terrorism which preceded and gave rise to the Israel attack. My delegation therefore believes that it is justified that this action by Israel is censured in the draft resolution. In fact, there is no difference of the opinion in the Council on that score.

15. The difference came on the question whether the draft resolution should be limited to censuring the action of Israel. That is what the representative of Jordan advocated. And it is understandable on his part, because it is his country which has been the victim of an unjustified attack.

16. However, we believe that the Council as a whole should take a wider view. The Council cannot be content with a mere censure of the action of a particular country, but it should, in our opinion, take into account the situation in the area as a whole, and should, above all, look to the future with a view to improving the situation and preventing a repetition of such military attacks, as well as other acts of violence which threaten the peace in the area. As I said on 18 November: “The only effective remedy is for all parties strictly to respect their obligations under the Charter and under the General Armistice Agreement” [Ibid., para. 12].

17. This concern over the situation as a whole is not reflected in the draft resolution, although some indirect reference to it can be found in the fifth preambular paragraph. My delegation would have preferred to include a specific call to all Governments concerned to respect scrupulously the provisions of all the General Armistice Agreements, and in particular the provision that no aggressive actions by the armed forces of the parties shall be undertaken, planned or threatened against the people of the armed forces of the other, and the provision that no war-like act or act of hostility shall be conducted from territory controlled by one of the parties against the other.

18. Such a reference would not, in any way, have meant a condoning of the action of Israel, and of course it would have even less implied any responsibility for Jordan for past incidents, but it would have pointed out the only real remedy for the future, which is to prevent all acts of violence in the area, which have been going on for a considerable time and which, we believe, can be stopped if all States in the area render them impossible by strictly adhering to the obligations mentioned.

19. Although the preceding has not found its expression in such clear terms, these obligations, freely undertaken by all countries, remain valid, and my delegation seriously hopes that the last preambular paragraph will be a reminder to all parties concerned that only strict compliance with all provisions of the Armistice Agreements is the key to the improvement of the situation in the area.

20. My delegation furthermore hopes and trusts that the United Nations machinery in the area, and particularly the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, will not hesitate to take or propose such measures on the spot as may improve the situation.

21. Although this draft resolution does not give us complete satisfaction, my delegation is prepared, in the interest of a clear-cut decision, to vote for it. We do so in the strong hope that the unanimous, or almost unanimous, decision of the Security Council may serve to quieten the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

22. Mr. FEDORENKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)(translated from Russian): The Security Council is about to complete its consideration of the act of open military aggression committed by Israel against Jordan. The Soviet Union’s position of principle with regard to Israel’s aggressive activities has been stated at previous meetings of the Security Council. I should now merely like to remind members that, as has been demonstrated and proved, on 13 November 1966 there was a clear violation of peace and security in the Near East by the extremist circles of Tel Aviv, and Israel armed forces committed acts of open military aggression against the territory of a neighboring Arab country. By resorting to a military incursion into the territory of Jordan, Israel has flagrantly violated the key provisions of the United Nations Charter, the resolutions of the Security Council and the elementary rules of international law.

23. The course of events in the Near East and the new act of aggression by Israel against the Arab States fully confirm the USSR delegation’s appraisal of the situation in the Near East, namely, that the causes of the continuing tension in that area are to be found in the general extremist policy towards the Arab countries pursued by Israel and those who stand behind Israel and in the attempt by the imperialist Powers to halt by force the development of the national liberation movement.

24. A draft resolution has now been submitted by Mali and Nigeria for the Security Council’s consideration. My delegation considers that the draft resolution submitted by these two African States contains the essential elements which should be included in any decision by the Security Council on this question, for the Council must, indeed, condemn Israel aggression unconditionally and warn Tel Aviv firmly against a repetition of similar acts in the future.

25. At the same time, my delegation considers that this draft resolution contains only the minimum provisions which the Security Council should adopt, in view of the extremely serious situation created by Israel’s act of open aggression against Jordan and by Israel’s flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and the rules of international law.

26. Accordingly, the USSR delegation will vote for the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Mali and Nigeria.

27. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker on my list is the representative of Bulgaria whom I am glad to welcome back on behalf of the Council. I now give him the floor.

28. Mr. TARABANOVA (Bulgaria)(translated from French): I am very pleased to be able to take part in the discussion just before the vote on the draft resolution which is before us, and I should like to state my delegation’s position on this draft resolution.

29. My delegation has already stated [1325th meeting] the Bulgarian Government’s views on the question which we are now considering. We continue to believe that the Security Council should take effective measures to put an end to the acts of aggression directed by certain circles in Israel against the Arab States on Israel’s borders.

30. That such acts of aggression have been repeated is undoubtedly due to the encouragement which they have received from certain Western Powers, and particularly certain circles in the United States, as we have said in our previous statements and at earlier meetings of the Security Council on the Palestine question.

31. It is indeed sad that, after ten days of consultation and deliberation, the Security Council has been unable to produce any more effective document than the one we have before us, although it had at its disposal all the necessary data to determine its position and the measures which should be taken to deal with the existing situation. We are confronted with the irrefutable fact of premeditated aggression, carefully planned and perpetrated by the Israel authorities. This constitutes a violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement, a fact which even the representative of Israel did not dare to deny during the debate.

32. It is amazing that after all the statements made in the present debate denouncing Israel’s act of aggression as a flagrant violation of the Charter, and after the condemnation of acts of retaliation, the Council should still find itself faced with insuperable difficulties and unable to take effective measures. What is more, this state of affairs is not due to any lack of initiative in the preparation of a draft resolution, but to the fact that certain members of the Council--as we have seen at this very meeting--are seeking to put the victim and the aggressor on a footing of equality and to divert the Council’s attention from the real substance of the problem by introducing other factors with the aim of minimizing Israel’s responsibility and justifying its acts of aggression.

33. The draft resolution now before the Security Council sets forth the absolute minimum of the effective measures which should be taken to put an end to the threat presented by Israel’s repeated acts of aggression in this part of the Middle East. Mali and Nigeria have made every effort to produce a text which represents the common denominator in this situation, in order that we can at least take some action against these acts of aggression.

34. For these reasons, the Bulgarian delegation will vote for the draft resolution submitted by Mali and Nigeria.

35. The PRESIDENT: If no other member of the Council wishes to take the floor at this stage, the Council will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution submitted yesterday by Mali and Nigeria {S/7598].

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favor: Argentina, Bulgaria, China, France, Japan, Jordan, Mali, Netherlands, Nigeria, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay.

Against: None.

Abstaining: New Zealand.

The draft resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none, with 1 abstention. 2/

36. The PRESIDENT: We have requests for statements after the vote. The first speaker on my list is the representative of Israel to whom I now give the floor.

37. Mr. COMAY (Israel): My Government continues to maintain the views which have been expressed in the statements the Israel delegation has made to the Council in the course of the present debate. The essence of those views may be summed up as follows:

38. First, the fundamental cause of Arab-Israel tension in the Middle East lies in the Arab belligerence and military threat against Israel, in standing violation of the Charter and of the Armistice Agreements signed in 1949. If all the Arab Governments accepted their obligations towards Israel under the Charter and the Armistice Agreements, there would be no incidents, no reactions and no meetings of the Security Council on violence in the Israel-Arab area.

39. Secondly, in the last two years these Arab policies have spawned a pattern of organized terrorist and sabotage raids from the territory of Israel, resulting in death, destruction and insecurity within out borders. The Arab Governments concerned have either supported these armed attacks or have not prevented them. They have therefore failed in varying degrees to discharge the responsibility freely accepted by them under the Armistice Agreements.

40. Thirdly, the Government of Israel is in duty bound to ensure the defense and security of its population, its territory and its borders. We are open to the consideration of any effective means of ensuring this result. What we cannot accept is that out neighbors should deem that they have a right to kill us and violate our territory with impunity.

41. Fourthly, it is a matter of profound regret that the Security Council has acted upon complaints concerning Israel reactions, but has not been able, for fifteen years, to adopt any resolution on Israel’s complaints.

42. In the light of these facts, I must place on record my Government’s disbelief that the resolution just adopted will solve any of the problems the Council has already debated three times in the last few months. These problems cannot be solved so long as the people of Israel are not permitted to live peaceful and secure lives within their own borders and so long as the international community does not insist on neighboring States conducting themselves towards Israel in accordance with Charter principles, armistice commitments and the concept of peaceful coexistence. That has been all along, and remains, the real challenge to the Security Council. It is not an equitable or an effective response to that challenge when warlike action against Israel is disregarded and criticism is reserved for the reaction alone.

43. While not condoning the Israel action of 13 November, most members of the Council have also referred in the debate to the terrorist attacks that preceded it and to the necessity of seeing the situation as a whole. There was a degree of recognition that the Israel action wad not something appearing suddenly and inexplicably without provocation, but that it had a context and a background. That wider, more constructive and more balanced view has been repeated this morning in the Council by the representatives of Uganda, New Zealand and the Netherlands. I would express my delegation’s great respect for the representative of New Zealand and his Government for the independence that has been shown in refusing to vote of a text which not only he but also many other members of the Council regard as thoroughly unsatisfactory.

44. It is unfortunate that the text reflects this balanced and constructive view so very meagrely, even if there are some references in the preamble to previous acts of violence and to the obligations under the Armistice Agreements. The weakness of the present resolution, and its ineffectiveness, lies in its failure to address itself to the simple fact that one Member State, and one alone, is faced by the refusal of its neighbors to allow it to pursue its life in peace and within its own borders. There is no other Member State of this Organization in the same position.

45. As for the future, my Government reiterates its hope that from now on the population on both sides of the borders can dwell in a mutual freedom from fear of attack. If that hope is realized, the action on 13 November, and the terrorist raids that preceded it, should mark the end of violence across the demarcation lines. But I would repeat what the Israel Foreign Minister said on 14 October, in opening the debate before this Council on the Israel complaint against Syria. Mr. Eban declared that “any Government ... which respects Israel’s integrity and independence Israel’s daily peace will encounter a reciprocal respect on Israel’s part” [1307th meeting, para. 47].

46. I am authorized to reaffirm that the Government of Israel’s policy is on of full respect for the status quo in the area and for the integrity of the existing borders, including its common border with the Kingdom of Jordan.

47. If the Israel attitudes I have described were to be reciprocated by the Governments of neighboring States as well, it would immediately produce a new and more hopeful outlook for peace and security in the Middle East. To that end, the authority and influence this Council, and of the peace-loving States represented on it, should now be brought seriously to bear Arab Governments. They must be required to desist from a policy of threatening or using force against Israel’s territory and population, to put an immediate stop to raids across our borders and to accept the principle of peaceful coexistence pending the establishment of permanent peace, as its envisaged in the General Armistice Agreements and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council itself.

48. Mr. BERRO (Uruguay)(translated from Spanish): In my statement on this question I said:

49. The draft resolution now before the Council is the only one which has the unanimous support of the great Powers; in other words, it is the only one which can be adopted and acquired the status of a resolution. It is for the reason, if “reason” is the word, that we voted for the proposed text, even though it does not fully satisfy us. We voted for it because, in our view, to leave this chamber without adopting a resolution in view of what we have been examining would be prejudicial to the prestige of the United Nations and to the authority of the Council. That would be much more serious.

50. We regret, however, that the draft resolution takes no account of some fundamental considerations relating to the future of the region in question. In that connection, we share the reservations which, in all sincerity, courage and frankness, the representative of Nigeria expressed with regard to the text he himself has sponsored; his determined efforts to secure the adoption of a resolution deserved the Council’s appreciation and respect. He said yesterday that if we, the members of this body, examined the draft carefully, we would discover that it did not correspond exactly to what we would have liked to see in the draft resolution, and he added:

51. It was in that sense that my delegation voted in favor of the draft resolution, on the grounds that it is the only one which could command the votes of the permanent members and spare us the sorry spectacle of the Council’s leaving this chamber, for the third time in four months, as if nothing had happened in Palestine.

52. Mr. EL-FARRA (Jordan): Now that the Council had adopted a resolution on Jordan’s complaint, I should like to clarify our position in this matter.

53. Let me say at the very outset that we are grateful to the sponsors of the resolution, the delegations of Mali and Nigeria, for their constructive efforts. We are grateful to the Security Council for its immediate response and valuable contribution on the Jordan complaint. We are grateful to the Council for rejecting the allegations put forward by the Israel representative as justification for the unprovoked crime committed by Israel.

54. The members of the Council, in all their statements, have condemned the outrageous, planned, large-scale Israel military actions.

55. In the resolution just adopted, the Security Council:

The resolution, however, falls short of imposing sanctions in accordance with Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. It gives a final warning to Israel that it should not continue its crimes, its actions can no longer be tolerated and that, if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure that there will be no repetition of such acts. This is a clear, final warning before invoking Chapter VII of the Charter. Thus the resolution stops short of what the Security Council should have adopted under the circumstances.

56. We do not see the need for any more warnings, simply because this is not the first time that Israel has defied the Security Council by committing crimes of this nature. In 1951, 1953, 1956 and 1962. Israel was repeatedly either condemned or censured. We feel that, with this background of condemnation and repeated defiance, sanctions should have been invoked immediately.

57. We have voted in favor of this resolution, not in a spirit of compromise, because there should be no compromise with aggression. When people are being killed, when houses and property are being shelled, bombed and destroyed, when weapons whose use is not permissible are being employed, when the authority of the United Nations is repeatedly defied, the answer-the only answer-is sanction. However, since it was the Council’s wish to give the aggressor one last chance to discontinue its many crimes, and since the Council not only condemned the action but indicated its contempt by censuring the authority responsible for it, we though we should go along with the other thirteen members around this table in emphasizing that this is the last step preceding the invocation of Chapter VII calling for sanctions.

58. We have all listened to Mr. Comay referring to the fundamental causes lying behind what happened. I submit that, if we are going to look at the causes, we should look deeper and try to see the problem in its proper context.

59. The causes behind the tension in the area are, first, the forcible occupation of an area belonging to its inhabitants, to its rightful people, by foreigners coming from outside. The second cause is the refusal of the occupants to permit repatriation. It is easy for Mr. Comay and for the people occupying the area to live in the area, to live in the houses of the refugees, to close the door and look through the window and sing a song of peace. It is very easy, after occupying the houses of the Palestine Arabs and rejecting their repatriation, to look through the window and say “peace”. Israel is a unique Member in the United Nations, it is the only Member created by the United Nations and it repeatedly defies its authority, its resolutions, its Charter and is Armistice Agreements.

60. If one wishes to look deeper, one will find that the real causes are the ideology and the acts, deeds, and behavior based on that destructive thinking-the thinking of Zionism calling for more immigration, more expansion, more expelling of Arabs, acquiring more of their lands. It is a unique situation, and those who think in terms of realities have to go deeper and think deeper and look at the problem as it is, not through the eyes of the illegal occupiers as represented here by Mr. Comay! Speaking about Armistice Agreements, who is defying the agreements? The Government of Jordan or the Israel authorities? Who is occupying the demilitarized zone in the south and in the north? Who is building a hotel now in no man’s land? Who is trying to expand and get more of this land, which was intended to be a buffer-zone to separate the forces and which instead is being used for military purposes, to continue the crime?

61. When I come before the Council and compare Zionist with Nazism, Mr. Comay tells us that they have lost people in Germany-as if the Arabs were responsible for anything that happened in Germany. Whether you murder 1, 2, 100 or 500, murder is murder, there is no other definition. When Mr. Comay comes to represent his authorities, to defend a cold-blooded act of murder. I do not think the Council should ignore the fact that the whole creation of this sorry situation is the result of terrorism, aggression and continued aggression.

62. The PRESIDENT: I should now like to make a very brief statement as representative of the UNITED STATES.

63. As I stated before this Council on 28 October [1310th meeting], and restated on 21 November [1324th meeting] at earlier meetings of the Council to consider the question which is now before us:

64. We have voted for this resolution, because we believe it is directed towards this purpose.

65. Before adjourning the meeting, I should like to express my appreciation, as PRESIDENT, for the complete co-operation I have received from all members of the Council and all others concerned in our debate, during the course of the consideration of this very difficult question.
The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.


1/ Official Records of the Security Council, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No. 1.

2/ See resolution 228 (1966)

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter