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Arabs Silent on Truce As Mediator Withholds Cease-fire Order Pending Their Acceptance

Although the Israeli Government today replied promptly to the U.N. Security Council’s order for an immediate cease-fire in Palestine, no word was received at the U.N. headquarters today from the Arab League states. Under the terms of the American-sponsored resolution adopted late last night by the Council the Arabs face economic, diplomatic and military sanctions if they refuse to obey the truce order.

U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte will not issue a cease-fire order for Palestine until the Arab states have indicated their acceptance in principle of the Security Council order that the war be stopped, a U.N. spokesman indicated today. The Council resolution specifically authorizes Bernadotte to determine the time when the cease-fire will take effect. However, Bernadotte will not issue such an order at a time which would place the Jewish forces at a disadvantage, the spokesman said.

Since the Israeli Government has accepted the truce but only on condition that the Arabs do the same, it would be futile and confusing for Bernadotte to set an arbitrary deadline until he has received replies from both parties that they agree to stop fighting.