U.N. Security Council Hears Bunche Charge Jews with Negligence in Bernadotte Murder
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U.N. Security Council Hears Bunche Charge Jews with Negligence in Bernadotte Murder

Jewish authorities in Jerusalem were charged today at the U.N. Security Council with “negligence” in taking precautions which might have prevented the assassination of the late U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folke Bernadotte.

The charge was made by Dr. Ralph Bunche, acting U.N. mediator. “Had the main precautions been taken, the crime could not have been committed, “he told the Security Council. He emphasized that no protection was provided for Count Bernadotte by the Jewish authorities on his last visit to Jerusalem, despite demonstrations against him on a previous visit.

The responsibility for providing protection, he said, is adequately covered in the Aug. 24 resolution of the Security Council which allocates to each party responsibility for the regular or irregular forces operating in territory under its control. He added that the Jewish authorities were officially notified of Bernadotte’s visit wall in advance.

Discussions on the situation in Palestine began at the Security Council today despite protests from the Arab delegations. Farris el Hour, Syrian delegate, objected to placing the Palestine question on the agenda, He declared that the problem of Palestine “was not an urgent one.” U.S. delegate Warren Austin, this month’s Council president, stated that the Council took the opportunity to discuss violations of the Palestine truce because of the presence in Paris of Dr. Bunche and because there was no meeting of the Political Committee this afternoon.

The Council had before it a long list of breaches of the truce by both sides reported by Dr. Bunche, as well as a list of such breaches submitted by the Israeli delegation. The violations of the truce, Dr. Bunche told the Council, indicate an “increasingly serious situation” in Palestine.


A demand that the present truce in Palestine be replaced by a treaty involving the withdrawal of the invading Arab armies and the initiation of direct Arab Jewish peace negotiations was voiced at the Security Council by Aubrey Eban, Israeli representative to the United Nations.

The Israeli representative emphatically protested against the “intemperate language” used by John J. MacDonald, American consul-general in Jerusalem, in his capacity of chairman of the U.N. consular truce commission in a message to the Council regarding the assassination of Bernadotte and the inferences in it against Dr. Bernard Joseph, Israeli Military Governor for Jerusalem.

Emphasizing that the Security Council mist exercise pressure to bring the Jews and the Arabs to a round-table conference, Eban said that “territorial improvisations at the expense of the integrity of the existing state of Israel are doing little but harm.”


Dwelling at great length on the assassination of Bernadotte, Dr. Bunche told the Security Council that he still has no official information as to the progress of the investigation which the Israeli authorities started in connection with the assassination, “It would be advantageous for the United Nations to have a full report on the Provisional Government of Israel’s investigation, giving full details of the assassination, the steps taken to identify the murderers and of the official findings,” he declared.

Dr. Bunche emphasized that the truce in Palestine could only be effective if United Nations personnel obtained a reasonable degree of cooperation. He called on the Security Council to demand such cooperation from all parties involved. Syrian delegate El Hour, who spoke after Bunche, expressed his appreciation for the oral and written reports given by the acting mediator.

British delegate Sir Alexander Cardigan placed before the Security Council a resolution, supported by China, calling on the Israeli Government to submit to the Council at an early date an account of the progress made in the investigations into the assassination of Count Bernadotte. The British resolution also called on the governments concerned to assist the United Nations officials in enforcing the truce in Palestine.

No action was taken on this resolution in today’s session. However; it was announced that the Council will meet again at a later date on the Palestine question.

In presenting the Israeli viewpoint, Eban told the Council that Israel will report fully on the progress made in investigating the Bernadotte assassination. He emphasized Israel’s desire to cooperate with the Security Council’s efforts to restore peace to Palestine. “The days of organized terror are definitely over in Israel,” he said. He pointed out that more then 200 terrorists had been apprehended by Israeli authorities in connection with Bernadotte’s murder.

Ethan then listed six Arab violation of the truce, charging that the Egyptians–in their assault on Jewish positions in the Negev–hoped to out off the southern desert from the rest of Israel. The Government of Israel, he declared, rightfully resisted this attempt and is defending the Negev, which, he added, is and will remain an integral part of Israeli territory.

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