NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, United Nations acting mediator for Palestine, tonight reiterated an earlier statement that “resumption of fighting in Palestine on any widespread or general scale is highly unlikely and that the end of the war is definitely in sight.” Dr. Bunche, who returned from the Paris session of the U.N. last week, spoke over the Columbia Broadcasting System.
Asserting, however, that he does not desire to minimize the present fighting in southern Palestine, which he described as local in character, Dr. Bunche declared that it is dangerous because it constitutes an overt violation of the Security Council truce and because it impedes “cur strenuous efforts to bring about an armistice.” He also stated that the present fighting is “puzzling” because no specific act of provocation is known to have caused the outbreak.
He insisted that he was “convinced that the Israelis, who did not start this war, desire peace. Having withstood the Arab attacks from all sides which began last May, however, they are understandably very conscious of considerations affecting the security of Israel and are impatient about the delay in peace talks,” he added.
On the Jerusalem problem, he said that although the U.N. is on record as supporting internationalization of the Jerusalem area, this need not involve direct international administration of Jerusalem “since an arrangement could be readily devised whereby the Arab and Jewish communities would enjoy full local autonomy and administer their own affairs under a general United Nations supervision.”