Arabs Showing Willingness to End War, Israeli Foreign Ministry Official Reports

Michael J. Comay, member of the Israeli mission to the U.N. and head of the British Commonwealth Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who has just arrived here from the U.N. sessions in Paris, said today at a press conference that there are “signs of willingness on the part of certain Arab states to abandon the war against Israel and seek an understanding with us.”

Assorting that he had come here to consult with Israeli representatives on the present American attitude towards the Palestine issue at the United Nations, Mr. Comay revealed that it became known to Israel that the U.S. State Department and the British Foreign Office recently drew up a resolution between themselves pledging complete support to the Bernadette proposals for Palestine. He added that he did not know whether this resolution had been approved “on top.”

“A now approach towards resolving the Palestine dispute is emerging at the United Nations,” he declared. U.N. officials and delegates now are beginning to feel that the General Assembly, at its present session, should reaffirm the fact that the state of Israel exists; that the war in Palestine is ever; and that the next stop that the Assembly should take is arrange for peaceful negotiations between the two Palestine disputants.

SAYS BRITAIN AIMS TO DISCOURAGE ARAB PEACE OVERTURES

Referring to reports appearing here over the week-end regarding the existence of peace negotiations between the Jews and Arabs, Mr. Comay stated that “negotiations” was the wrong term — “overtures” or “peace feelers” would be more accurate, he added. He said that the U.N. Security Council resolution of last Thursday ordering the Jews and Arabs to withdraw to their Oct. 14 positions in the Negev had “a harmful effect” on these overtures.

British foreign policy in the Middle East aims to discourage any such moves, he stated. The British are afraid of any understanding reached by direct Israeli-Arab negotiations, since the British wish to appear as the friends of the Arabs “in the backwash of the Arab defeat.” Mr. Comay said that the Americans are being strongly influenced on Palestine by the British.

Mr. Comay also revealed that the Israeli Government considered Dr. Ralph Bunche’s position as mediator “anomalous” and declared that the acting mediator has for the past several weeks threatened to resign his post.

Touching on the question of the Negev, he said that Israel considers that the Negev is not open to any negotiations regarding territorial adjustment. The Jews are ready to negotiate with the proper authorities only on areas presently occupied by Israeli troops but not considered to be within the juridical territory of the state of Israel, Comay added.

With regard to the question of Jerusalem Mr. Comay said that the Israeli Government now considers the Jewish section of Jerusalem “do facto incorporated into the state of Israel” and that the government “no longer finds as acceptable the provision in the original Assembly resolution calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem.” He emphasized that this viewpoint was arrived at by the Jews because of the inability of the United Nations to take any action in that sector since the outbreak of hostilities.

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