fifty years ago April 30, 1968 Archives

From the Archives (April 30, 1968): Nasser warns war with Israel inevitable

U.A.R. President Nasser told his troops to-night [April 29] that U.N. efforts to reach a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict have come to nothing and “the sequence of events indicates the battle is inevitable.” The battle was inevitable, said President Nasser, whatever measures are adopted by the United Nations. “It is inevitable because when the Israelis speak of peace they are deceiving the world.” President Nasser was addressing officers of his Army, Navy and Air Force at a military base somewhere in Egypt. His speech, broadcast by Cairo Radio, was monitored here [Beirut]. President Nasser asserted that Israel had never accepted or implemented any U.N. resolution. He gave as an example the Israeli decision to stage a military parade on Thursday [May 2] through the city of Jerusalem, including the occupied Arab sector. “Israel continues to defy the world. Israel will pay the price of this,” he said. He singled out the United States for criticism that it failed to denounce Israel’s decision although he did accept that the Security Council resolution had been unanimous. Several times the President mentioned the coming battle to liberate the Arab lands occupied by the Israelis. The battle, said Nasser, would be “long and violent.” “To those who speak of a political settlement we ask them to assess the position and attitude of Israel in regard to the crisis over Jerusalem,” he said.

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