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U.N. Mediator Refuses to Place Blame on Either Side in Outbreak of Fighting in Negev

United Nations acting mediator Ralph J. Bunche today reported to the Security Council in Paris that he had no knowledge of incidents which night be considered as having provoked the current fighting in the Negev. In his cable to the Council, which was published by U.N. headquarters here, the acting mediator complained of Israeli denial of access to the fighting front. The Council is slated to consider today Arab charges of Israeli truce violations in the Negev.

Although he refused to lay the blame for the battle on either side, Dr. Bunche charged the Jews with “a most serious obstruction of the truce” in refusing access to U.N. observers. Reviewing the situation at Falnja, where an Egyptian force has been out off by the Israelis for weeks, he declared that it was his view that the “intransigent attitude assumed by the Israeli authorities concerning the situation at Faluja is a major factor in preventing progress through implementation of the Security Council’s resolution of November 16.” That resolution ordered both sides to negotiate for an armistice.

(At Lake Success this afternoon, Dr. Bunche denied a news report, emanating from Paris, which said that he accused the Israelis of breaking the Palestine truce by attacking the Egyptians in the Negev.)

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