U.N. Secretary General Predicts There Will Be Peace in Palestine This Year

U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie volunteered the prediction today that “there will be peace in Palestine in 1949.”

At his first press conference since the General Assembly adjourned its Paris session, Lie said the U.N. Secretariat had no information to confirm or deny British charges that Israeli forces had penetrated into Egypt, capturing air bases at El Arish and Rafah. He announced that the Negev subcommittee of the Security Council will meet here Friday morning to consider the situation, “I think the subcommittee may have some information on that point,” Lie declared.

In answer to a reporter’s question, Lie said that while he could not divulge basis for his optimism, a general settlement of the Palestine problem was closer than it had been before the U.N. Assembly meeting in Paris and offered the prediction that the new year would bring an end to the warfare between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

The office of Dr. Ralph Bunche, acting U.N. mediator, turned away today all queries about the alleged Israeli incursions into Egyptian territory and the reported landing of British troops at Aqaba. A spokesman for the mediator declared that Dr. Bunche was receiving a constant flow of reports from U.N. observers in the field but that he did not make a practice of divulging military information.

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