LAKE SUCCESS (Aug. 5)
U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folke Bernadotte is not expected to submit a Palestine peace plan to the General Assembly when that body meets in Paris next month, Dr. Ralph Bunche, the mediator’s chief Secretariat representative, told a news conference here today.
Asserting that the current truce in Palestine is firmly entrenched, Dr. Bunche, who plans to return to the Hear East within a few days, stated that Count Bernadotte “made quicker progress” in the first days of the second truce than during the initial cease-fire agreement since both the Jews and Arabs were impressed with the firm stand taken by the Security Council in ordering the cessation of hostilities.
Bunche confirmed that the Jews were seeking direct negotiations with the Arabs but seemed doubtful that this objective could be easily obtained. Insofar as this involved the mediator, he said Bernadotte would be only “too happy” to see or arrange such a conference if it promoted conciliation in Palestine. Dr. Bunche’s primary mission at present in the U.S. is to expedite the dispatch to Palestine of military observers pledged by the three truce commission countries.
Bunche underscored the mediator’s insistence on the need for a force of 2,500 men to guarantee the peace of a demilitarized Jerusalem, but admitted that while both sides had accepted demilitarization in principle they had not been approached on the question of a U.N. force.
In a surprise announcement, Bunche declared that what may be Bernadotte’s first concrete proposal to the U.N. Security Council may be made within the next 24 hours on the question of Arab refugees. Meanwhile, the Syrian Government has filed a vigorous protest with the Security Council against the Jewish seizure of the oil refineries in Haifa and has called for resolute Council action on its complaint. The Syrian note foreshadows a new Council debate over the oil terminus.