Ambassador Eban on Sinai Campaign

(November 1, 1956)


On October 30, 1956, the United States asked that an urgent meeting of the Security Council be convened to discuss the Middle East fighting. The US called for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops and asked other countries to refrain from giving Israel military and economic assistance. The United States draft Resolution was vetoed by Britain and France. The Yugoslav delegate then asked for an emergency session of the General Assembly. When the Assembly met on 1 November, it heard the Israeli case from Ambassador Eban:


On Monday, 29 October, the Israel Defense Forces took security measures in the Sinai Peninsula in the exercise of our country's inherent right of self-defense. The object of these operations is to eliminate the bases from which armed Egyptian units, under the special care and authority of Colonel Nasser, invade Israel's territory for murder, sabotage and the creation of permanent insecurities to peaceful life. These are the only military activities for which the Government of Israel is responsible.

Stretching back far behind the events of this week lies the unique and sombre story of a small people subjected throughout all the years of its national existence to a furious, implacable, comprehensive campaign of hatred and siege for which there is no parallel or precedent in the modern history of nations. Not for one single moment throughout the entire period of its modern national existence has Israel enjoyed the minimal physical security which the United Nations Charter confers on all member States, and which all other member-States have been able to command.

We meet here under the auspices of the United Nations, a family of sovereign States organized in a system of mutual rights and obligations. Its basic premise is the sovereign equality of all its members. Whatever rights are enjoyed by other members of this Organization belong to Israel without addition or diminution. Whatever obligation any member-State owes to another, Egypt owes to Israel and Israel to Egypt. If Egypt denies Israel the plenitude of its Charter rights, then it inflicts deep injury upon Israel, and its competence to invoke the Charter against Israel is seriously compromised and reduced.

What are the obligations which Egypt owes to Israel under the Charter? Under the Charter, Egypt is bound "to practice tolerance and live together in peace" with Israel as a good neighbour. Under the Charter, Egypt is bound to "unite its strength" with Israel "to maintain international peace and security." Under the Charter, Egypt is bound to regard Israel as a State endowed with sovereignty equal to its own. Under the Charter, Egypt is bound to respect the "territorial integrity and the political independence" of the State of Israel, and especially to refrain from the threat or use of force against that integrity and that independence. Under the Charter, Egypt is bound in advance to accept and carry out decisions of the Security Council whenever such decisions are made in favour of Israel as of any other State.

To these broad obligations, derived from the Charter, there must be added to Egypt's account other obligations of a more specific nature, based on the armistice agreement of 1949. Under that agreement, Egypt is bound to respect the demarcation line between Israel and Egypt; to prevent any illegal crossings of that line; to abstain from the threat or use of force from its own side of the line against Israel's side; to regard the armistice agreement itself as a transitory measure leading to permanent peace; to respond at any time to Israel's request for a conference to develop the armistice agreement into a peace settlement or to amend and review its provisions; and to abstain from any acts of hostility or any acts of blockade or belligerency.

Is there any resemblance whatever between this list of obligations and Egypt's actual conduct of its relations with Israel? Can anyone imagine that, if Egypt had been willing to carry out this system of relations with Israel, we should have been assembled here on this tragic and solemn occasion?

What we confront tonight is a point of explosion after eight years of illicit belligerency. Belligerency is the key to the understanding of our problem tonight. Egypt has practiced belligerency against Israel by land. Egypt has practiced belligerency against Israel by sea. Egypt has established belligerency as the juridical basis of its relations with Israel. Egypt has held belligerency to be the spiritual and emotional mainspring of its conduct toward Israel. Out of this four-fold belligerency, maintained by Egypt for seven years but with special vigour and intensity since the rise of the Nasser regime, is born the crisis which the United Nations confronts tonight. I would say a word to the Assembly on each of these aspects of Egyptian belligerency.

Belligerency by land took its origins in May 1948, on the very morrow of Israel's emergence to sovereignty. On 15 May, Egyptian forces, joined by the converging forces of other Arab armies, marched into the newly established independent sovereign State of Israel with the avowed aim of its destruction. Alas, the processes which now move so swiftly in Egypt's protection were much slower at that time. It took us eight weeks to secure from the organs of the United Nations the establishment of an effective and stable cease-fire. During that period, every home in Israel stood under the direct shadow of death and extinction.

Our men, women and children fell by the thousands while this wave of aggression threatened to convulse us. At the end of that year, negotiations were held under United Nations auspices which led to the conclusion of the Rhodes armistice agreement. This agreement did not promise us an affirmative trustful and cooperative system of relationships. It did at least, however, promise us immunity from overtly hostile acts. Under the armistice agreement, every citizen of Israel is entitled to till every inch of Israel's soil and to navigate every yard of Israel's waters, without let or hindrance by any violent encroachment from the Egyptian side.

Yet, throughout this period of the armistice, our territory has been subjected to constant encroachment. The frontier has not been for Israel a barrier against the sudden leaping forward of violence by day and by night. Our 400 dead or wounded through these incursions tell the story of an armistice frontier which has been violated with consistency, and with special frequency and intensity during the past two years during which the Nasser regime has held sway in Egypt. The toll of dead and wounded has been augmented by countless pipelines blown up, by water supplies demolished, by trees pulled down, by an inferno of insecurity and danger which has raged along peaceful farms and homesteads in the frontier area. Last year, to all these torments was added the most penetrating and perilous of all, through the organization and mobilization of the fidayun movement.

It may be difficult for nations assembled here, which enjoy a normal security, to understand what has been involved for Israel by this belligerency on land. While much has been said about Israel's responsibility to the United Nations, it is a melancholy fact that since 1948 any Arab State which has ever tried to kill Israelis, to plunder Israel property, to blockade Israel ports, to intercept Israel navigation, has never regarded itself as operating under any effective international deterrent. Thus, the United Nations has not been able to offer Israel the minimum of daily security enjoyed by all its other members in nearly every sector of their national life.

Surrounded by hostile armies on all its land frontiers, subjected to savage and relentless hostility, exposed to penetration, raids and assaults by day and by night, suffering constant toll of life amongst its citizenry, bombarded by threats of neighbouring Governments to accomplish its extinction by armed force, overshadowed by a new menace of irresponsible rearmament, embattled, blockaded, besieged, Israel alone amongst the nations faces a battle for its security anew with every approaching nightfall and every rising dawn. In a country of small area and intricate configuration, the proximity of enemy guns is a constant and haunting theme.

These fears and provocations hover over us everywhere, but they fall upon us with special intensity in the frontier areas, where development projects vital to the nation's destiny can be paralyzed or interrupted by our adversaries from a position of dominating geographical advantage. In short, it is a small country, where every activity by farmers or citizens becomes a test of physical and moral courage. These are the unique circumstances in which Israel pursues its quest for security and peace.

On innumerable occasions the active defence of Israel life and territory has been compromised in deference to international opinion. We know that Israel is most popular when it does not hit back and world opinion is profoundly important to us. So, on one occasion after another, we have buried our dead, tended our wounded, clenched our teeth in suppressed resentment and hoped that this very moderation would deter a repetition of the offence. But sometimes the right and duty of self-preservation, the need to avoid expanding encroachment, the sentiment that if the claim to peaceful existence is not defended it will be forever lost, prevail in the final and reluctant decision.

This belligerency which assails us by land has its counterpart by sea. In 1948, Egypt established processes of visit, search and seizure; began to confiscate ships and cargoes bound for Israel's ports; enacted restrictive regulations; and applied punitive measures against the shipping and flags of other countries desiring to trade and to navigate peacefully with Israel upon and between the high seas. The flags of fifteen nations, endowed with the unconditional right of free navigation in the Suez Canal, have been abused by unlawful acts of interception. Ships have been confiscated and sold, cargoes have been held and sequestered, sailors have been tormented and wrongfully imprisoned, and all this on the great international waterway consecrated nine decades ago to the universal right of all nations for free commerce and navigation through the Suez Canal.

Thus, classic acts of war by maritime blockade have been added to Egypt's land belligerency in the total pattern of Israel's siege. Throughout the development of this policy during the Nasser regime we have witnessed a constant sequence of aggravation. The blockade and interception have been extended, in the name of belligerency, from the Suez Canal to another international waterway, the Gulf of Aqaba. The State of Israel has had to distort the entire pattern of its economy, to bear illicit burdens running into tens of millions of pounds, in order to compensate for the impact of this piratical system which Egypt has established on a great artery of the world's communications.

Belligerency by land and belligerency by sea are both expressed in a doctrine of juridical belligerency. This doctrine has been discredited by the Security Council of the United Nations, but it continues to be maintained. On 12 June 1951, the Egyptian representative said, "We exercise our rights of war. We are legally at war with Israel. This armistice does not put an end to the state of war. It will not prohibit Egypt from exercising certain rights of war."

In the Security Council of the United Nations the Foreign Minister of Egypt declared, "The Egyptian-Israel General Armistice Agreement will not be interpreted by us as terminating in any legal or technical sense the state of war between Egypt and Israel."

This jurisprudence continued to be maintained long after it had been adjudicated and rejected. In juridical and legal terms Egypt has cut itself off from its Charter obligations towards Israel, and avows a legal basis for its relationship which makes its appeal to the United Nations highly incongruous. It is strange to declare war against a neighbor and then to complain because there is no peace.

The fourth aspect of this belligerency should be studied in those statements of Egypt's intentions towards Israel which furnish the philosophical background to the belligerent acts which I have described. Here is a typical example of the kind of utterance which bombards the ears of Israel's population by day and by night:

"Wait and see, " says the Egyptian dictator, "soon will be proven to you the strength and will of our nation. Egypt will teach you a lesson and quiet you forever. Egypt will grind you to the dust. "

On 11 April 1955, celebrating the exploits of Egypt's commando units in Israel, the Egyptian Minister of Religious Properties declared:

"There is no reason why the faithful fidayun, hating their enemy, should not penetrate into Israel and transform the lives of its citizens into a hell. Yes, we will be victorious because we are more diligent in death than is Israel in life.

On 14 October 1955, the Egyptian dictator himself said:

"I am not solely fighting against Israel itself My task is to deliver the Arab world from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad. Our hatred is very strong. There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel. There is not even the smallest place for negotiations. "

The press and all the agencies and media of information take up the chorus. A typical example was contained in the leading Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram:

"Israel will not be saved from the Arabs. It will be destroyed under the feet of Arab fighters and the flag of freedom will be unfurled over Palestine. "

There is a tendency in some quarters to underestimate the importance of these pronouncements. I can assure members of the General Assembly that it is indeed a disquieting experience to live in a country surrounded by neighbours who bombard it by day and by night with predictions and menaces for its physical destruction. There is no doubt that these authoritative directives furnish the psychological and emotional background against which belligerency by land and by sea is organized, with growing intensity. But all of these aspects of belligerency together would not of themselves automatically invite a drastic response in self-defence were there not an immediate cause; and I wish to explain frankly and candidly to the General Assembly the special background against which our actions of last Monday took place.

World opinion naturally asks what these fidayun units are; what their activities imply for Israel's security; whether their actions in the past and their plans for the future were really full of peril for Israel; whether the danger was really so acute that Israel might reasonably regard its elimination as a primary condition of its security, and indeed of its very existence.

The Government of Israel represents a people endowed with a mature understanding of international facts. We are not unaware of the limits of our strength. We are among the half-dozen smallest members of this Organization. We fully understand how certain measures might at first sight evoke a lack of comprehension, even in friendly minds. Being a democracy, we work under the natural restraints of public opinion, which compels us to weigh drastic choices with care and without undue precipitancy. We are in short a government which determines its actions by the single exclusive aim of ensuring life and security for the people whom it represents, while safeguarding the honour and trust of millions linked to it by the strongest ties of fraternity.

In recent days, this Government of Israel had to face a tormenting question: Do its obligations under the United Nations Charter require it to resign itself to the existence of uninterrupted activities to the South and North and East, of armed units practicing open warfare against it, and working from their bases in the Sinai peninsula and elsewhere for the maintenance of carefully regulated invasions of our homes, our land, and our very lives? Or, on the other hand, are we acting legitimately within our inherent rights of self-defence when, having found no other remedy for over two years, we cross the frontier against those who have no scruples in crossing the frontier against us? Members of the General Assembly may be in a better position to evaluate the choice and to identify themselves with this situation if they hear something of the background of this movement and its place in the total pattern of Egyptian intransigence and aggression.

Let it be plain that the system of waging war against Israel by commando penetrations is the product of Colonel Nasser's mind. It is one of his contributions to the international life and morality of our times.

After intensive preparations during the spring and summer of 1955, this new weapon was launched in August of that year, breaking a period of relative tranquillity on the Egyptian-Israel frontier; indeed, coming at a time when Egypt and Israel were engaged in hopeful negotiations with the United Nations Chief of Staff, looking towards the integral implementation of the 1949 armistice agreement. Between 30 August and 2 September of last year, the Egyptian Government proclaimed its official responsibility for the new method of invasion. On 30 August, it broadcast:

"Egyptian forces have penetrated into the territory of occupied Palestine and pursued the attackers. "

On 31 August 1955, an official communiqué informed the Egyptian people of this new military technique:

"Egypt has decided to despatch its heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam, and they will clean the land of Palestine. That we have decided and that is our belief There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death. "

On 31 August, another official communique stated:

"The Egyptian fidayun have begun their activities inside the territory of Israel after the repeated clashes on the border during the past week. The Egyptian fidayun have penetrated into Israel's settlements, spread out in the Negev up to Beersheba and Migdal Ashkelon, at a distance of 40 kilometres from the Egyptian border, and have taught our aggressive enemies lessons that they will not forget The Egyptian fidayun sowed fear and consternation amongst the citizens of Israel.

On 2 September, the following official statement was broadcast in Cairo:

"The forces of the Egyptian fidayun moved towards Israel, approached its capital and caused heavy, casualties along the border between Gaza and Tel Aviv.

These are some of the documents which mark the origin of the fidayun movement. United Nations authorities repeatedly condemned these activities, designated them as aggression, held the Egyptian Government responsible for them, and called for their cessation. As one example, I quote a statement at that time by the United Nations Chief of Staff, General Burns. Reporting to the Security Council, he wrote:

"The episode of 22 August was soon followed by an organized period of attack on vehicles, installations and persons, carried out by gangs of marauders in Israel territory which, according to my information, resulted in the death of eleven military and civilian personnel ...

"The number and nature of these acts of sabotage perpetrated well within Israel's territory are such as to suggest that they are the work of organized and well-trained groups.

That was the opening shot in the fidayun offensive in the summer of 1955. In the spring of this year, the activity of these groups took on a new scope and intensity. This was the period during which the arms race initiated by Colonel Nasser, with external help, was running most drastically to Israel's disadvantage. Members of the General Assembly will recall how close we were then to the threshold of general war, while these units came in and out of Israel every day on their missions of murder and plunder, accompanied by the official exhortations of Colonel Nasser and his officials and by exuberant shouts of triumph in all the media of Arab information.

In an address to the Security Council last week, I submitted a detailed chronicle of acts of violence carried out by fidayun units between April of this year and a few days ago. Throughout the whole of that period, United Nations officials concerned with security of our frontier were devoting great attention to this problem. On 8 April of this year, the United Nations Chief of Staff addressed a letter to the Foreign Minister of Israel. In this letter, General Burns includes the following passage:

"I will despatch to the Prime Minister of Egypt a protest against the action of the fidayun assuming [them] to have been authorized or tolerated by the Egyptian authorities, and requesting the immediate withdrawal of any persons under Egyptian control from the territory of Israel. . .

"I consider that if Egypt has ordered these fidayun raids, it has now put itself in the position of the aggressor. "

I will not weary the General Assembly with this sordid chronicle in all its details. Suffice it to say that during this period of belligerency there had taken place against Israel 435 cases of armed incursion, nearly 2,000 cases of armed robbery and theft, 1,300 of armed clashes with Egyptian armed forces, 172 cases of sabotage perpetrated by Egyptian military units and fidayun in Israel. As a result of these activities, 465 of our people have been killed and wounded. In 1956 alone, so far, 28 of our people have been killed and 127 have been wounded.

I have said that this activity is merely the spearhead of Egyptian belligerency. The Egyptian-Israel frontier is to be a one-way street. It is to be wide open for these armed Egyptian units to penetrate deeply into Israel to accomplish their mission and to return. It is to be closed in their favour against any offensive response.

It was in these circumstances that the Government of Israel faced the tormenting problem of its duties and obligations under the Charter of the United Nations. We are not satisfied with a justification of our actions in terms of national expediency. There is perhaps no member of this Organization more sensitive to all the currents of international thought, more vulnerable to the disfavour and the dissent of friendly world opinion, broader in the scope and extent of its universal associations, less able to maintain its life on any principle of self-sufficiency or autarky.

It was with a full knowledge of this fact that we have been forced to interpret Article 51 of the Charter as furnishing both a legal and a moral basis for such defensive action as is applicable to the dangers we face. Under Article 51 of the Charter the right of self-defence is described as "inherent"; in the French translation it is "naturel." It is something which emerges from the very nature of a State and of humanity. This "inherent right of self-defense" is conditioned in the Charter by the existence of armed attacks against a member-State.

Can anyone say that this long and uninterrupted series of encroachments did not constitute the reality of an armed attack? Can it seriously be suggested that we made no attempt to exhaust peaceful remedies' Time after time at the table of the Security Council and in meetings of the Mixed Armistice Commission efforts were made to bring about tranquillity on the frontier. Yet, all this well-intentioned, enlightened and, at certain times, hopeful effort ended without making the life of a single citizen of Israel more secure than it was before.

I have mentioned the problem of opinion. It is, perhaps, natural that a country should interpret its own obligations for the preservation of security more stringently than those who enjoy greater security far away. If we have sometimes found it difficult to persuade even our friends in the international community to understand the motives for our action, this is because nobody in the world community is in Israel's position. How many other nations have had hundreds of their citizens killed over these years by the action of armies across the frontier? How many nations have had their ships seized and their cargoes confiscated in international waterways? How many nations find the pursuit of their daily tasks to be a matter of daily and perpetual hazard? In how many countries does every single citizen going about his duties feel the icy wind of his own vulnerability? It might perhaps require an unusual measure of humility and imagination for others to answer the question how they would have acted in our place. Nobody else is in our place and is therefore fully competent to equate the advantage and the disadvantage of our choice.

The Government of Israel is firmly convinced that it has done what any other nation would have done in our place, with the reservation that many would have done it earlier and with perhaps greater impact of resistance. It is especially moving to us to find that, despite the uniqueness and the eccentricity of our position, something of it is making its way into the general consciousness of mankind. Since this discussion proceeds not merely from the rostrum of the General Assembly, but also against the bar of world opinion, I think it is legitimate to quote an eloquent and cogent passage from one of the great organs of opinion published in this, the home city of our Organization. Yesterday's edition of the New York Times stated:

". . . it would be ridiculous to permit Colonel Nasser to pose before the United Nations or the world as the innocent victim of aggression, or to hold a protecting hand over him. On the contrary, insofar as there is any one man guilty of aggression, it is the Egyptian president, for he has waged war against Israel, Britain and France, by propaganda, by gun-running, by infiltration of murderous bands, by stirring up rebellion in French North Africa, by seizing the Suez Canal by force, and scrapping a treaty in the same manner in which Hitler marched into the Rhineland, by blocking the Canal for Israeli shipping in defiance of United Nations orders finally, by his whole loudly proclaimed program of throwing Israel into the sea in alliance with other Arab States and creating an Arab empire under his own hegemony which would expand his influence in concentric circles through all Africa and the whole Moslem world. "

In these circumstances, both the position and the attitude of the Israel Government are clear. This attitude is based upon our fundamental concept of reciprocity. If the frontier between Egypt and Israel is to protect Egyptian territory against Israeli entry, then it must protect Israeli territory against Egyptian entry. We hold it as a self-evident truth that the lives of Israeli men, women and children are not less worthy of international protection than are the lives of the hired fidayun groups, which are the main instruments of Nasserism in its assault upon the peace and decencies of Middle Eastern life.

Beyond these incidents, grave as they are, we discern issues of even greater moment. World opinion must surely choose between two candidates for its confidence: on the one hand, the farmers and workers, the men, women and children of Israel; and on the other hand, the fanatic warriors of the fidayun groups. Behind that confrontation there stands the much broader and more significant alignment between Israel and Nasser. A small people builds its society and culture in its renascent homeland. In the early days of its independence it is set upon by the armed might of all its neighbours who attempt to wipe it off the face of the earth. In the following years, its neighbours continue their assault. With warlike acts of their own choice they attempt its destruction by armed intervention. They send armed units into its territory to murder and plunder. They try by every means to ensure that nowhere shall there be tranquillity for peaceful pursuits. They blare forth the most violent threats of Israel's destruction. They accumulate vast armaments for bringing this about. They announce, as they did last week from Cairo, that it is they who will choose the time and the place for the final assault, and that it is for us to wait passively for the moment of their selection. They proclaim that a state of war with Israel already exists. They seize the greatest of the world's international waterways and convert it into an instrument for unilateral national pressure.

Across Africa and Asia, wherever Nasserism spreads its baneful influence, it works actively to subvert all peace and progress and to establish an ambitious and insatiable hegemony. Now, having considered that he has humbled and defeated the international community and the maritime Powers, Nasser returns to his first target, Israel, which is to be swamped from three sides with a new wave of fidayun violence. The Assembly will recall that the new wave began shortly following the Tripartite Military Alliance concerted ten days ago between the Governments of Syria, Jordan and Egypt, under Egypt's control.

While studying with attention all proposals for strengthening security in the Middle East, we must reject with vehement indignation the charges of aggression launched against us here, launched by some States whose own activities in Europe today are well in the forefront of today's international attention.

There is aggression, there is belligerency in the Middle East, but we for eight years have been its victims, not its authors. That is what I mean when I say that world opinion as here represented should decide whom to trust. Shall it be the small free people establishing its homeland in peace and constructive progress or shall it be the dictatorship which has bullied and blustered and blackmailed its way across the international life of our times, threatening peace in many continents, openly avowing belligerency, placing its fist upon the jugular vein of the world's communications, bringing the Middle East and the world ever nearer to the threshold of conflict, intimidating all those who stand in its path all except one people, at least, which will not be intimidated one people whom no dictator has ever intimidated, the people which has risen up against all the tyrants of history, the people which knows that the appeasement of despots yields nothing but an uneasy respite, and that a Government which allowed its own citizens to be murdered daily in their homes would lose the dignity and the justification for which Governments are instituted among men?

Israel and the Arab States, the region in which they and we must forever live, now stand at the crossroads of their history. An aggressive dictatorship has for the first time encountered successful and glorious resistance. Some elements of its pride have been broken. Those whom it has outraged with impunity have stood up and asserted their rights, and the hope of freedom burns brighter in the Middle East today not only for Israel but for many others in our region who have found ways of communicating to us their deep apprehensions of what Nasser's encroachment means for their own cherished sovereignty. If the power of this tyranny is not artificially revived, our region will again become a place where men of all nations, including Israel, can live and work in peace, where legitimate universal interests will be respected under the sanction of law, where contracts with other lands will be held in respect, where all those in Asia and Europe whose fortune is linked by history and geography with the Middle East will receive justice and respect for their legitimate interests. It will be a region where the great maritime nations will not have to suffer the indignities which they underwent in this building last month, when they had to hang with exaggerated deference on every wave of the hand, on every nod of condescension from the representative of the territorial Power which had converted the unconditional right of navigation into an act of grace or privilege to be conferred or withheld at will.

Such a Middle East, free from domination and totalitarian influence, will enter, perhaps soon, upon its new birth of freedom. This is the crossroads at which we might soon stand. We could have wished that we had reached it less drastically, with smaller peril and sacrifice. But, having reached it, surely we must go forward and not back. This momentous discussion today has made it plain that one thing will not do. It will not do to go back to an outdated and crumbling armistice regime designed by its authors to last for a few months and now lingering for eight years in growing paralysis of function. Least of all can we be satisfied to return to an imperfect armistice, distorted by unilateral belligerency, to a system designed seven years ago as a transition to peace and interpreted for seven years by one of the parties as a continuing state of war.

Israel has no desire or intention to wield arms beyond the limit of its legitimate defensive mission. But whatever is demanded of us by way of restoring Egypt's rights and respecting Egypt's security under international law must surely be accompanied by equally binding Egyptian undertakings to respect Israel's security and Israel's rights under the identical law. Egypt's obligation to abstain from acts of hostility, to liquidate its commando activities, to abolish its illicit discrimination against Israeli shipping in the Suez Canal and in the Gulf of Aqaba, is equal and identical in law to Israel's obligation to respect the established armistice lines.

Our signpost is not backward to belligerency, but forward to peace. Whatever Israel is now asked to do for Egypt must have its counterpart in Egypt's reciprocal duty to give Israel the plenitude of its rights.

Beyond the moment when fire will cease, the prospect must be not one of unilateral claims by one party against the other. The horizon must be of peace by agreement, peace without maritime blockades in the Gulf or in the Canal, peace without frontier raids or commando incursions, peace without constant threats to the integrity or independence of any State, peace without military alliances directed against Israel's independence.

Egypt and Israel are two people whose encounters in history have been rich and fruitful for mankind. Surely they must take their journey from this solemn moment towards the horizons of peace.


Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs