LAKE SUCCESS (Jul. 19)
All Arab states except Iraq have notified the United Nations Secretariat that they have issued a cease-fire order to their troops in Palestine, a U.N. spokesman said here late today. The Iraqi Government, he explained, has asked for more time.
Earlier, U.N, circles were alerted at an erroneous report that Syria and Iraq had rejected the U.N. Security Council’s cease-fire. The confusion stemmed chiefly from the fact that some Syrian and Iraqi forces in Palestine continued their operations beyond the truce deadline and also because the Iraqi Government in Bagdad issued a statement disclosing that in the voting yesterday by members of the Arab League on whether to accept the U.N.’s truce order, Syria and Iraq “rejected” the order. The announcement, however, failed to clarify that the other five members of the League overruled the “rejection.”
In accepting the truce, the Arab League notified the U.N. of three conditions that it demanded be met: 1. Jewish immigration must be completely stopped during the truce; 2. Palestinian Arab refugees must be allowed to return to their homes in the Jewish areas; and, 3. A definite time limit must be set for the truce. As it stands now, the truce is of indefinite duration–until a permanent solution for the Palestine problem is found.
It is now certain that the Palestine mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, has suspended–at least temporarily–his plan for bringing into Jerusalem 1,000 U.N. guards, U.N. circles expressed the belief that Bernadotte now hopes to place the city under “more rigid supervision” by increasing the number of U.N. military observes.
Meanwhile, dispatches from Rhodes released here said that Bernadotte told a press conference on his island headquarters upon his arrival today that the biggest job facing him now was setting up truce supervision machinery in order to make the Security Council order effective.
When this is accomplished, the mediator asserted, the next step will be to resume negotiations between the Jews and Arabs. However, he indicated that in view of the fact that the current truce is indefinite, there “is no rush” to get such negotiations under way. He revealed that he expects the first contingent of military observers to arrive in Rhodes tomorrow. Haifa will serve as truce control headquarters, he said, while Rhodes will be maintained as the mediation center.