TEL AVIV (Jun. 18)
U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte today revealed that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok has agreed to send a delegation of Jewish experts to Rhodes for consultation purposes to assist Bernadotte in preparing proposals which will be placed before the Arab League states and Israel as a basis for peace negotiations.
Bernadotte’s announcement was made at a press conference “before his scheduled departure today for Rhodes where he will spend four or five days laying the ground-work for a peace parley. The mediator told newsmen that he was “glad” of the Israel Government’s agreement. He emphasized that the Jewish delegation, and its Arab counterpart, will not be involved in negotiations.
He also said he was “happy” that all was quiet on the Palestine fronts, adding that “we have the situation in hand,” As for violations, he asserted that such as occurred during the early days of the truce were unavoidable and similar incidents might crop up again.
The first food convoy is on its way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and should arrive at its destination today, he told reporters. From other sources it was learned that one food convoy left here this morning and a second departed after noon. On the eastern end of the highway, Arab mines strewn over the road between Babel Wad and Jerusalem are being dismantled under the supervision of the U.N.
Bernadotte, asked about the status of the new by-pass road around Latrun, said that food coming over that road was also subject to U.N. control and to the provision that no move food shall remain in Jerusalem at the end of the truce that was there at the beginning. As for increasing the supply of water in Jerusalem, he said the Truce Commission there is working on the problem.
FAVORS RELEASE OF PALESTINE JEWS DEPORTED BY BRITAIN TO KENYA
Questioned about the status of some 280 Palestinian Jewish political prisoners deported to Kenya during the past year by the British Administration, Bernadotte replied that they were Palestinians, not immigrants, and that their release was a matter for discussion between the Israel Government and Britain. This statement brought joy to many persons in Israel, since the men have been interned in Kenya beyond the termination of the Mandate on the basis that their return would violate U.N. peace efforts and that they were immigrants to be controlled on the same basis as DP’s from Europe.
The government today released a memorandum on a double arrangement between the U.N. and Israel and the U.N. and Britain whereby British installations in the Haifa enclave are surrendered to the U.N. when the British are prepared to evacuate. If the installations are of military value to Israel, in the opinion of the mediator, inform the mediator that they are preparing to leave a given points, he will ask the Israelis for a guarantee that they Will not occupy or use it without his approval. The Jews have also undertaken to supply police guards for these installations as the mediator shall direct.
Five U.N. observers are now investigating the Mishmar Hayarden incident on the northern front and are expected to hand down a decision soon whether the Syrians captured the village after the cease-fire deadline and who shall be given possession of it. In the vicinity of Nathanya 1,600 Arab women prisoners of the Israeli army were handed over to the Arabs today, under the supervision of the Red Cross. No Jewish women were exchanged.