LAKE SUCCESS (Jul. 8)
The United States today warned the Arab states that unless they reconsider their rejection of the U.N. Palestine mediator’s appeal for a prolongation of the Palestine truce which expires tomorrow, the Security Council will have no choice but to take punitive action against them under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter which deals with threats to the peace and acts of aggression.
The warning was voiced by U.S. delegate Philip C. Jessup at an emergency session of the Security Council at which a report was road from mediator Folk Bernadotte, informing the Council that the Jews were ready to accept an extension of the truce, but the Arab states have rejected such an extension.
Emphasizing that the United States welcomes Israel’s acceptance of the U.N. appeal for a continuation of the truce, Jessup said that in view of this acceptance, the Arabs would not be able to claim that they are resorting to war in self-defense, which is the only extenuating circumstance permitted in the U.N. Charter. It is hard to believe, he added, that the Arab states, members of the United Nations, “would con template resorting to war in violation of the Charter.”
The U.S. Government is fully prepared to shoulder its responsibility as one of the Council’s five permanent members in the event that sanctions are applied, Jessup stated. Such action, he added, would have to await a more complete account of the Arab decision. The U.N. mediator’s report to the Council merely said that while the Jews agreed to an extension of the truce, the Arabs notified him that they “are not prepared to accept a prolongation of the truce under present conditions in view of their experience of the past four weeks.”
U.N. MEDIATOR SEEKS CEASE-FIRE EXTENSION AT LEAST FOR JERUSALEM
Expressing his “disappointment” over the fact that “hostilities are to be resumed in Palestine” as a result of the Arab stand, the U.N. mediator reported to the council that he informed the Arab representatives of his willingness to meet with them in Cairo on Saturday to discuss a temporary cease-fire at least for all of Jerusalem and that he also notified the Israeli Government of his desire to carry on similar discussions in Tel Aviv.
In opening today’s session of the Council, the president, Dmitri Z. Manuilsky, of the Ukraine, said he had convened this emergency meeting because of a cable from the Israeli Government reporting that an attack had been made on Israeli positions in southern Palestine by Egyptian forces. Declaring that “the battle is now in progress,” the cable ended: “While its armed forces are ready for most determined action on all fronts, the Provisional Government of Israel is most, interested to learn what the Security Council will decide in the present emergency.”
Manuilsky then urged the Council to discuss “the situation which has arisen as a result of the violation of the truce by Egyptian forces.” Egyptian delegate Mahmoud Bey Fawzi denied that any such violation had taken place. He said he could not accept such an accusation leveled at his government “based only on the Jewish statement.”
Syrian delegate Faris el Khoury, in a 20-minute speech against the Jews and the United States, said, “there is no other way for the Arabs but to fight.” He claimed that the Arab states had scrupulously observed the truce and that repeated Jewish violation had been “glossed over” by Count Bernadotte.
U.S. delegate Jessup expressed the hope that a complete report from the U.N. mediator would show that the “apparent rejection” by the Arab states of the prolongation of the truce had been only a misunderstanding, and that this anticipated threat to peace had not occurred. If the truce is rejected, there will be nothing left for the Security Council but to reconsider the Palestine situation with a view to action under Chapter VII of the Charter.
U.N. GETS REPORT ON WITHDRAWAL OF ITS PERSONNEL FROM PALESTINE
The U.N. Secretariat was informed today by cable from Haifa that with the announcement by the U.N. mediator, of the conclusion of the truce and of the failure of his extension efforts, United Nations headquarters in Haifa began an orderly withdrawal of equipment and personnel to points outside Palestine.
At the request of Count Bernadotte, the U.S. Navy sent one carrier, “Palau,” and one tank cargo ship, “Marquette,” to evacuate equipment and personnel from Haifa, the cable said. Three destroyers–“Putnam,” “Henley” and “Owen”–previously assigned to the mediator for coastal patrol service, are remaining, subject to his orders, in Haifa harbor.
The mediator has asked the belligerent governments to withhold any military action in Haifa and Beirut until the United Nations have fully withdrawn. With few exceptions, the United Nations Secretariat, including guards, are proceeding to Beirut today and tomorrow. They will go on as soon as possible to Rhodes or other destinations yet to be determined.
Military observers and personnel of all three countries will also be flown to Beirut by the U.S. Army today and tomorrow. The mediator’s plane will return from Rhodes tomorrow, bearing Dr. Ralph Bunch, chief of the Secretariat who, with Col. Thorde Bonde and Carey Seward, will proceed to Beirut to supervise the removal of personnel.
Gen. Frank Stoner, U.N, communications officer, and press officer George Barnes, are going to Rhodes via carrier with all the files and records of the entire truce supervision. A small party of U.N. guards may remain in Jerusalem, pending further developments of the demilitarization of Mt. Scopus and the city.