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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968
Volume XVIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1964–67, Document 77


77. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel11. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 ISR–SYR. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Officer in Charge of UN Political Affairs in the Middle East Stephen Campbell of UNP, cleared by Paul W. Jones of UNP and Davies, and approved by Talbot. Repeated to USUN, Damascus, and Jerusalem.

34. Ambassador should approach FonOff at highest appropriate level to make following points:

1) We again wish to counsel greatest restraint on GOI in matter of patrolling in and around DMZs.22. A July 13 memorandum from Talbot to Harriman states that the Israeli Charge informed the Department of an Israeli decision to resume patrolling that morning in an area where from July 2 to 6 there had been three separate Israel-Syrian clashes. (Ibid.) At this juncture with tensions running high it idle to argue over what constitutes violation of GAAand what does not. Important thing is avoid incident which could get out of hand with unpredictable consequences and no benefit to anyone, including Israel.

2) However if Israel does feel that a show of its right to patrol was necessary, that right was reasserted on July 13, fortunately without Syrian reaction. Accordingly we strongly urge that patrolling again be suspended in order avoid senseless and perhaps dangerous incident. Such prudent course would cost Israel nothing.

3) In circumstances we would also urge GOI suspend any other extraordinary military activity which might be construed by SARG as provocative, especially since Arab dels to MACs reportedly meeting in Damascus. (We referring especially to paradrop reported by ACOS Marsh, but to protect him, you should not mention this specifically unless you have word of it from other sources.)

4) We hope GOI will renew its excellent relations with General Bull when he returns and believe Israelis should take up with him any reservations they may have regarding fairness or accuracy of UNMO's reports.

5) GOI should realize, in event possible incidents are taken to SC, that it will be very difficult to defend any activity which contravenes GAA, whether both sides guilty or not, and if UNMO's initial reports show they unable to establish which side first started shooting.

6) We again ask Israel to discuss recent incidents in ISMAC if ISMAC chairman can arrange that the only item on the agenda will be the recent incidents and not the question of Israeli sovereignty over the DMZs.

You should inform GOI that Ambassador Knight has called on Syrian FonMin and urged restraint on part of SARG.33. Telegram 55 from Tel Aviv, July 14, reported that Barbour presented these points to Director General Yahil. (Ibid.)

Rusk

1 Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 ISR–SYR. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Officer in Charge of UN Political Affairs in the Middle East Stephen Campbell of UNP, cleared by Paul W. Jones of UNP and Davies, and approved by Talbot. Repeated to USUN, Damascus, and Jerusalem.

2 A July 13 memorandum from Talbot to Harriman states that the Israeli Charge informed the Department of an Israeli decision to resume patrolling that morning in an area where from July 2 to 6 there had been three separate Israel-Syrian clashes. (Ibid.)

3 Telegram 55 from Tel Aviv, July 14, reported that Barbour presented these points to Director General Yahil. (Ibid.)