TEL AVIV (Jul. 2)
Arab units of Fawzi el Kaukuji’s Liberation Army” today set fire to the Balfour Forest, in the Nazareth district, and attacked Jewish forces in the area, thus breaking the truce once again. The Jews, who suffered no casualties in the clash, replied with small arms fire and soon scattered the raiders.
The forest was still blazing late today. Planted as the first part of the Jewish reforestation project undertaken in Palestine by the Jewish National Fund, the forest, which is the major woodland preserve of the country, bears the name of Lord Balfour, early friend of Zionism and author of the document which bears his name and which committed the British Government to the creation and furtherance of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The Israeli Cabinet met again today on the peace proposals submitted by U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte. The discussion concentrated chiefly on the mediator’s suggestions for solving the Jerusalem problem. It was learned that Bernadotte proposed that Jerusalem be proclaimed an Arab city, but that the Jews would be granted wide autonomous powers in the religious, cultural and economic fields. The U.N. would be asked to administer the public utilities services, including the distribution of food, water and electric power.
The Bernadotte suggestions would also provide for maintenance of the present “balance” of population. In essence, the only way to keep the Jewish population in Jerusalem undisturbed is to bar the entrance of Jews from this point on.
A high Israeli government official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that there is not “the faintest” possibility of the Jews accepting this proposal. He added that the government is resolved not to accept a solution which does not provide the integrity of Israel’s sovereignty and territory.
From another Jewish source it was learned that the Israeli Government would be willing to place the Hebrew University and the Hadassah Hospital under the Jurisdiction of a U.N. municipal administration. It was also reported that King Abdullah of Transjordan is willing to accept Bernadotte’s suggestions concerning Jerusalem.
ISRAEL PROTESTS TO U.N. AGAINST BRITAIN’S DETENTION OF JEWS ON CYPRUS
The Israeli Government will protest to the United Nations against the British Government’s refusal to permit the transfer from Cyprus to Israel of 11,000 Jewish refugees of military age, it was announced today.
The action followed notification to the Israeli Government by Count Folke Bernadotte, U.N. mediator, that transfer of the 24,000 Jews now held on Cyprus can start the near future. The British Government, however, informed the U.N. mediator that it agrees to the transfer of the Cyprus internees who are not of military age.
An Israeli Foreign Office statement today charged that the British had no legal basis for their action. “The Government holds the view,” the communique stated, “that the British Government action is devoid of all legal foundation and is incompatible with the Security Council’s decision of May 29. The British Government’s refusal to release the internees of military age is tantamount to the arbitrary imprisonment of 11,000 innocent people in the Cyprus internee camps.”