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U.N. Observer in Palestine Charges Arab Legion Responsible for Ambush of Jewish Convoy

Gen. William Riley, American U.N. truce observer today charged Transjordan Arab Legionnaires with responsibility for the ambushing of an unarmed Jewish convoy escorted by a U.N. observer in a clearly marked jeep and the killing of the convoy commander and three passenger, Riley labelled the killing last Wednesday a “massacre” and stated that it was an “unwarranted attack” and a “most serious breach of the peace.”

The Israeli Government officially announced today that a number of complaints of Arab violations of the truce have been brought to the attention of the U.N. truce observation staff as well as information concerning the mutilation of the bodies of Jews killed during an Arab Legion offensive in the Latrun area last week. An official explanation of the shooting down of an Arab plane last week was also released.

The truce violations about which the Israelis complained occurred on two extremes of the Palestine front. One was the shelling of the settlement of Bethel Eshel, near Beersheba, while the second was the daily shelling by the Arabs of Jewish traffic to and from Gesher, below Lake Tiberias. The Israeli Government statement declared that the U.N. has done nothing as yet about the attack on Beth Eshel.

Pointing out that the Israeli forces which found the mutilated bodies at ##dya a height in the Latrun area, had pressed on punish the Arabs and caused some casualties among the latter, an Israeli communique reported today that the U.N. truce observation board complained of the Jewish “violation” in Latrun area. The Israeli communique pointed out that the U.N. note made no mention of the mutilations, although a report on that matter was filed by the Jews with the U.N. staff.

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