TEL AVIV (Jun. 16)
The Government of Israel has not yet been invited to attend the peace talks which U.H. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte is arranging in Rhodes, it was learned here today from reliable sources.
The Israeli Government does not intend to place before the Rhodes conference any suggestions until and unless it is fully informed on what basis the talks will be held, Even acceptance of the invitation to participate in the talks depends on whether Bernadotte invites Israel as a state.
The Cairo radio today reported that an Arab league spokesman announced that the Arab governments have decided to reject any invitation to sit with Israeli representatives at a round-table conference. Also, that they rejected a proposal by the U.N. mediator that Jerusalem be proclaimed an open city.
At the same time, the broadcast quoted Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab league, as declaring that “no partition of Palestine and no Jewish state were the basic conditions which Arab leaders today laid before Count Bernadotte” during a conference between the U.N. mediator and representatives of the Arab states in Cairo.
BRITISH PREVENTED FROM HANDING OVER TWO MILITARY CAMPS TO ARABS
Following the intervention today by United Nations truce observers, the British military authorities in Haifa reversed their decision, announced yesterday, to hand over two military camps on the Tel Aviv-Haifa highway to the Arabs.
The British agreed to turn over the Tira camp, seven miles south of Haifa, to the U.N. personnel who will post Jewish military guards around the installation as soon as the last British soldier leaves. A second camp in the area, which was occupied by Jewish troops who refused to leave at the order of the British, will also be turned over to the United Nations as soon, as the British formally surrender control of it. The same number of Jews who now are in possession of the training center will then be permitted to return. The Israeli Government agreed to these terms.
The Israeli protest last night to the U.H. mediator’s staff over the British intentions cited the fact that the truce was supposed to maintain the status quo and that surrender of the camp to the Arabs would give the latter a military advantage within the Jewish state which they never previously had.
The official Israeli radio” announced that the British military evacuation through the port of Haifa seems to have picked up speed recently. Fourteen ships are now in the port taking on supplies for Britain and elsewhere.