LAKE SUCCESS (May. 24)
While Israel has accepted the Security Council’s cease-fire request, which was to have taken effect this afternoon, the Arab League states are continuing to sabotage the U.N. ‘s peace efforts by demanding a 36-hour extension of the deadline set last Saturday.
Faris el Khoury of Syria made the request this afternoon to Council President Alexandre Parodi of France, claiming that the Arabs require additional time for consultation. (In London a Foreign Office spokesman announced that the British Government has decided to support the Arab states’ demand for a 36-hour extension of the Security Council’s cease-fire order. A report received in London from Cairo said that the U.S. and British Governments have appealed to the Egyptian Government to abide by the cease-fire order.)
Late this afternoon the Council received a message from Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok declaring that half an hour after the expiration of the ceasefire deadline Lebanese artillery opened fire on the Jewish settlement of Ramath Haphtali.
A spokesmen here for the state of Israel said the Arabs were stalling to gain time for their efforts “to capture the Old City of Jerusalem and to influence the military position in general.” He added that it is “fantastic that anyone should ask the Security Council to sanction another 35 hours of murder in Palestine, ” pointing out that Thomas C. Wasson, U.S. Consul General and member of the Security Council’s Truce Commission in Jerusalem, had been “killed by Arab bullets in the last 36 hours. “
U.S. MAY REOPEN QUESTION OF SANCTIONS IF ARABS REFUSE TO COOPERATE
The United Nations flag fluttered at half-mast today in memory of the two American consular officials killed in Jerusalem as the American delegation prepared to demand strong action rather than more resolutions to halt the war in Palestine. A spokesman for the U.S. delegation confirmed that Senator Warren Austin will call upon the Council to reopen the whole question of military and economic sanctions against the Arab League if the Arab states do not comply with the request agreed to wait until a full report is available from the Truce Commission in Jerusalem.
The Council today received an appeal transmitted by the Truce Commission in Jerusalem from two Jerusalem rabbis. The rabbis stated that the entire Jewish population of the Old City is faced with possible massacre and the eight Scrolls have already been destroyed by Arab soldiers. The commission also informed the Council that it required three military advisors, but not to send Britons because of the sentiment against the British.
Secretary-General Trygve Lie today cabled the Arab states, the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, the United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of Israel to send him assurances of a safe conduct by civil and military authorities for Count Folks Bernadotte, U.N. mediator for Palestine.