Israeli and Transjordan Negotiators at Rhodes Stress Question of Access to Holy Places
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Israeli and Transjordan Negotiators at Rhodes Stress Question of Access to Holy Places

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The problem of access to the Holy Places in Jerusalem was emphasized here today at two brief, informal meetings held by representatives of the Israeli and Transjordan governments. The Amman spokesman, although paying lip service to the religious sentiments involved in the problem of Jerusalem’s Holy Places, argued that access to these shrines poses military problems such as passing military lines and fortified positions.

Meanwhile, acting U.N. Palestine mediator Dr. Ralph J. Bunche has submitted to both negotiating sides his proposal for resolving the Jerusalem problem. Neither the Jews nor the Transjordanians are willing to divulge the nature of Dr. Bunche’s proposal.

Earlier, an Israeli spokesman, in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said: “Our delegation has submitted legitimate demands for normalizing the life of Jerusalem, giving full consideration to Arab needs,” It was reliably learned, meanwhile, that the Israeli demands include free, uncontrolled access to the Holy Places, free and uncontrolled passage via Latrun–which is held by the Arabs only as a bargaining point and uncontrolled access to the Mt. Scopus area.

At the same time, it was learned here that the question of “demilitarized zones” within Jerusalem, such as the area around former Government House, has been raised at the negotiations. It is clear that a suggestion for Joint supervision of the Jerusalem railway is not acceptable to the Jews, since the entire length of the railroad runs through Jewish-held territory, with only eight kilometers of the line going through “no-man’s land.” Dr. Bunche has to date received no information from U.N. observers in the Negev on the reported Israeli-Trans Jordan clash there, while replies from Syria and Iraq to Bunch’s invitation to Join Transjordan in the current armistice negotiations here have not yet been received. Brig. Gen, William Riley, U.N. chief of staff, arrived here yesterday to report to the mediator on the Lebanese-Israeli talks scheduled to resume Tuesday.

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