Jews and Arabs at U.N. Parley Agree on Immediate Truce for Old City in Jerusalem
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Jews and Arabs at U.N. Parley Agree on Immediate Truce for Old City in Jerusalem

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Representatives of the Jewish Agency and Arab Higher Committee today agreed at the Trusteeship Council meeting to recommend to their home authorities the issuance of an immediate cease-fire order in the ##d City of Jerusalem. As proposed by the Belgian delegation, the agreement calls or a minimum three-day cessation of hostilities pending a detailed working out of precise truce terms.

At the outset, Moshe Shertok indicated that the Jews were far from satisfied with a truce limited only to the Old City. Such a truce, he argued, is “extremely unrealistic” and may subject the Hew City to violent fighting. He demanded that the truce terms contain guarantees against firing into the Old City from the outside ##d firing into the Now City from the ramparts of the old. He categorically rejected an Arab demand for a withdrawal of Haganah forces-from the ancient quarter, but council president Francis B. Sayre indicated that Jamal El Husseini had already withdrawn this demand.


Shertok made it clear that he could only recommend a cease-fire order, but that its practicability had to be determined by on-the-spot considerations. In strong, challenging terms he denied the right of the Council to capitulate any part of the city to violence, both under the Nov. 29 Assembly resolution calling for the safeguarding of Jerusalem’s population and Holy Places and under the assembly partition decision in which the Trusteeship Council assumes primary responsibility for the safety of the City.

The U.S., France and Belgium agreed with Shertok that a truce for the Old City alone is not sufficient. They insisted, however, that it constitutes the first step of an agreement which must be expanded to include the entire city.

Iraq delegate, Khalidy, speaking for the Arab states, outlined the terms of a truce in the Old City. These are: 1. Freezing of military positions; 2. No further infiltration of armed forces; 3. Full preservation of all Holy Places and accessibility to all faiths and nationalities; 4. The truce commission should-be; composed of representatives from the three major faiths under the neutral chairmanship of a British subject.

(The United Nations truce committee consisting of the Consuls-General of Belgium, France and the United States, conferred in Jerusalem with Jewish Agency representatives today. An official announcement issued by the committee said that the Arabs have rejected its plea to discuss peace in Palestine.)


A resolution urging the United Nations to explore the possibility of a U.N. provisional regime for Palestine after May 15, when the British Mandate terminates, was presented today by the American delegation and appeared certain of acceptance.

The resolution, which came as an amendment to a proposal introduced yesterday by Dr. Jorge Garcia Granados of Guatemala designed to study the possibilities of the U.S. trusteeship plan being accepted by the people of Palestine, was accepted by Granados to the surprise of the anti-trusteeship delegations. Granados’ original resolution was considered a strategic move to strengthen the position of the pro-protectionists.

The amended resolution provides for the appointment by the Political Committee of a sub-committee, which, after the testimony of the Mandatory Power, the wish Agency, the Arab Higher Committee and legal, economic and military experts of the U.N. Secretariat, should report its findings to the main committee. The sub-committee is to consider the following questions:

1. The terms of a possible trusteeship or other United Nations provisional government for Palestine.

2. Whether trusteeship or another U.N. provisional government for Palestine is likely to be accepted by the Jewish and Arab communities of Palestine.

3. Whether it is possible to implement trusteeship or another U.N. provisional plan and make it workable.

Amendments were also submitted by Carlos Holguin De Lavalle of Peru and Alexandre Parodi of France. The Peruvian delegate wanted the sub-committee to consider the cost of any alternative solution of the Palestine problem. The Argentinian delegate submitted a sub-amendment to the U.S. amendment providing for the deletion of any reference to “trusteeship or any other U.K. provisional government for Palestine.”


Following a strong attack by Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko on the U.S. amended Guatemalan resolution, the chairman of the Political Committee, instead of calling for a vote on the resolution, announced the resumption of the general debate.

Gromyko expressed doubts as to whether an outright American proposal for Palestine trusteeship would receive the necessary majority of votes at the General Assembly. He said that he has done some figuring on the composition of the proposed 17-member sub-committee which would deal with the U.S. -Guatemala resolution. Thirteen have either openly declared themselves against partition or have recently changed their attitude in favor of the U.S. proposals, he said, while only four were still pro-partition.

Emphasizing that the U.S.-Guatemala resolution seems to him “definitely harmful,” Gromyko announced that he will oppose its acceptance. He also bitterly criticized the Arab representatives for “neither accepting nor rejecting trusteeship.” The reason, he felt, was that it would be embarrassing for the Arabs to espouse trusteeship when their people desired independence.

Late in the evening the terms of the Arab-Jewish truce for the Old City in Jerusalem, as agreed to “by Jewish and Arab representatives at the Trusteeship Council, were announced. They are:

1. All fighting and acts of violence are to cease in the limits of the Old City; 2. a cease-fire order is to be issued by both parties; 3. Immediate instructions are to be sent to both Arab and Jewish communities in Palestine notifying them of the agreement; 4. The Trusteeship Council, together with the Jews and Arabs, is to proceed at once to draw up the detailed conditions of the truce.

The Trusteeship Council notified the Jews end Arabs it will now seek to expand the truce to the entire city of Jerusalem to include the New City with its more than 100,000 Inhabitants. The Council will proceed at once to a practical consideration of a French plan to supplement the truce with, an International police force to maintain law and order in the entire city.

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