U.N. Truce Observers Take Up Assigned Positions After Cease-sire Order Goes into Effect
Menu JTA Search

U.N. Truce Observers Take Up Assigned Positions After Cease-sire Order Goes into Effect

Download PDF for this date

The first United Nations truce observers took up their assigned positions today several minutes after 10 o’clock A.M. Palestine time–2 A.M. New York time–when the cease-fire order went into effect. The full contingent of observers will be on duty within two days, it was reported by a representative of U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte.

About a hundred minutes after the truce deadline, a correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the Ramleh front found that the Arabs were still shelling Jewish positions. A communique issued by Jewish military headquarters stated that by noon, two hours after the deadline, Arab firing had ceased in some sections of the war front, but continued in others, Among the Jewish positions attacked after 10 A.M. was the Sedjera settlement, on the road between Afulah and Tiberius in Galilee.

About an hour after the truce, Tel Aviv had a twenty-minute alert. However, no bombs were dropped. Desultory shelling from Arab guns continued for several hours after the deadline la Jerusalem. An Arab broadcast claimed that an hour after the cease-fire became effective Jews violated the truce. A broadcast from Cairo quoted Bernadotte as declaring: “I expected incidents would occur the first day. These would not have happened had most of the cease-fire observers not been delayed coming out.”

(At Lake Success a U.N. spokesman revealed that Bernadotte had received several protests of alleged truce violations early this morning and that he would send military observers to check the complaints. Unless the Security Council issues new instructions, Bernadotte informed U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie, he will administer the truce alone the lines of his nine-point interpretation of the cease-fire appeal which was accepted unconditionally by both sides.)


Within an hour after the truce deadline several ships carrying non-military cargo, including food, were in the roadsteads at the port of Tel Aviv. Longshoremen immediately started unloading several of them.

It was learned here that the Provisional Government is planning to charter ships and use all available Jewish vessels to bring in huge cargoes of non-military supplies which have either not been shipped or sidetracked in various Mediterranean ports because the owners feared to attempt delivery at Tel Aviv, frequent target of Egyptian bombers during the last four weeks. Most of the supplies will be picked up in French and Italian ports which will by-pass Arab ports for fear that their cargoes will be confiscated.

Representatives of Palestine Arabs who fled their homes in Upper Galilee and crossed the border into Syria have approached local Jewish leaders with a request that they be permitted to return to their homes in the Lake Huleh area. The Israeli answer was that as long as war conditions continue their return was impossible.

The Arabs promised to recognize the sovereignty of the Israeli Government and to surrender their arms. They even promised to accept trial and imprisonment in cases where Israeli laws were violated before they sought refuge in Syria. The representatives told the Jews: “We are now slaves kept in concentration camps.”


Reviewing the four-week-old Arab-Israeli war, a spokesman for the Jewish Army announced today that to date “20 Arab aircrafts have been shot down by Jewish anti-aircraft fire and Israeli planes.” He also revealed that there are at present 625 Israeli prisoners of war in the Mafraq POW camp in Transjordan.

The Jewish prisoners, he said, are being well treated and have the services of a Jewish physician, a dentist and a rabbi, end are also supplied with kosher food. The International Red Cross recently arranged for the delivery of mail to them, he said. Other Israeli troops who have been caught by Arab units other than the Transjordanians have not yet been counted, he added. He listed the number of Arab prisoners in Jewish hands as 1,200.

Haganah communiques issued here today, reporting the pre-deadline, up-to-the-truce action, said that Jewish planes last night dropped three tons of bombs on military targets in Damascus in a l5-minute raid. All Israeli planes returned safely. Israeli aircraft also bombed enemy concentrations in Kalkilia and Ramleh, the communiques reported.

Syrian units, in the pre-truce hours, Haganah said, continued attacking Mishmar Hayarden and Metzudat Ussishkin with artillery and aircraft. At the same time, a strong enemy infantry attack on Ein Geb, on the other side of Lake Galilee, was repulsed with heavy losses to the Arabs, while Israeli losses were reported as comparatively few. A similar raid occurred at Ramath Naftali.

Early yesterday morning, Arab units attacked three Jewish-held Arab villages on the central front-Kafrana, Yehudiah ans Safiriah. A later Haganah communique reported tersely that “important Jewish successes” were achieved last night in the Jerusalem fighting. A simultaneous operation by Israeli units on the Isdud front resulted in the capture of the village of Yassur and the military camp, Julis, commanding a position overlooking the Egyptians’ supply lines.

Haganah also reported that Jewish forces last night, in a pre-deadline maneuver, seized the village of Sirin, southwest of Samakh, as well as a number of villages on historic Mt. Gilboa in the northwestern part of the Arab triangle. The Ras el Nakur police station on the Lebanese border was recaptured by Jews after its seizure earlier by Lebanese troops.

Meir Grossman, president of the executive of the World Revisionist Organization, who arrived here today by air from the United States, told the J.T.A. that he and several other American passengers were detained all last night at the Athens airport and were forbidden to leave their plane.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund