Bunche Sets Negev Cease-fire Deadline for Today; Asks Both Sides to Inform Troops

Acting mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche tonight set the deadline for the Negev cease-fire at 1 P.M. Friday Israel time (6 A.M. New York time). He notified Cairo and Tel Aviv simultaneously of his decision.

Conceding that the desire by both governments for prior assurance of the other side’s compliance was “understandable,” the mediator expressed confidence that both the Israelis and Egyptians would adhere to the new deadline. Bunche’s communication asked for immediate confirmation that cease-fire orders had been issued to field commanders.

The message did not include a request to either party to withdraw its troops from their present position. Under the terms of the Security Council resolution of Tuesday withdrawals are to follow negotiations between the two belligerents. At about 7 P.M. Paris time tonight the U.N. attempted to reach Cairo by telephone with the message, but failed because of an air alert. The operator said the “lines are damaged.

The U.N. Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee today deferred for eight days its scheduled discussion of the Arab refugee question, while the Political and Security Committee, having passed on the Mexican proposal for a Big Five recon collation to a sub-committee, has still to meet to deal with the Bernadette report on Palestine. Nominally, the Bernadette report is the next question on the Political Committee agenda.

(During a debate before the Assembly’s Legal Committee the French delegate proposed that the U.N. be given the right to intervene against the mass murder of populations only where such killings are sanctioned by states. This proposal immediately brought strong protests from many delegates, who demanded that genocide be considered an international crime whether committed by governments or individuals.)

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