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Security Council Gets Report from Mediator Reviewing Fighting in North Palestine Area

A 14-point document dealing with the recent truce violations along the Lebanese frontier was submitted over the week-end to the Security Council by acting U.N. Palestine mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche.

In his report, Dr. Bunche said that as a result of fighting in the Galilee, a significant change in the general military picture has occurred in that sector. “Israeli forces have occupied the area in Galilee formerly controlled by Fawzi el Kaukaji’s forces and have crossed the Lebanese frontier,” the report stated.

“They are now holding positions two to six miles inside the southeast corner of Lebanon. Some 15 Lebanese villages have been occupied by small Israeli detachments,” the document stated. Without offering any opinion on whether the situation in the northern sector of Palestine resembles the situation in the Negev, or whether it is advisable that the Security Council resolution of last Thursday ordering the withdrawal of all forces from the southern desert to Oct. 14 positions be extended to this area, Dr. Bunche’s report merely chronicles the events in northern Palestine between Oct. 21 and Nov. 1.

The main points of the report are that implementation of the truce on the Lebanese front has been a complicated matter, since the area was held by Kaukaji’s forces, on the responsibility of the Lebanese Government. Tension in the area followed close on the heels of Kaukaji’s attempts to prevent the supplying of the settlement of Menara by the Jews. The report points out that the colony is located within the Israeli truce boundaries and that Israeli incursions into the Hulah area in Lebanese territory, and the recent crisis in the sector, developed as a result of alleged actions taken by Kaukaji’s units on Oct. 21.

REPORT SAYS ISRAELIS DID NOT PERMIT U.N. OBSERVERS TO ENTER AREA

This situation went unchecked, Dr. Bunche stated, since, according to Israeli commanders, the area of the fighting was not safe for United Nations observers. Kaukaji occupied positions within Israeli truce lines, the report said.

On the first of this month, the document continued, U.N. observers visited Israeli positions and found that Arab villages around Tarkiyah were deserted, as were the Arab villages formerly held by Kaukaji’s forces. The U.N. observers reported that systematic looting, aided by the use of Army trucks, was carried out and that a new influx of refugees fleeing towards Lebanon’s interior had begun.

A British delegation spokesman here, asked by correspondents whether a report made here recently by Henry Morgenthau Jr., general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal in the United States who passed through Paris on route home after a visit to Israel, that Arab arms seized by Jewish soldiers in recent clashes were marked “Britain 1948,” explained that “such arms were produced only in the early part of the year.”

Commenting on a charge by an Arab delegate in the United Nations last week that Jews were committing atrocities in the southern part of Lebanon, Israeli representative to the U.N. Aubrey S. Eban declared: “This is a fictitious incident which occurred in a fictitious town.”

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