Israeli-syrian Armistice Pact Signed; All Syrian Troops Must Evacuate Occupied Areas

The Israeli-Syrian armistice agreement was signed today at Mahanaim, on the Syrian-Israeli frontier, thus formally halting hostilities between the two states.

The agreement provides that all Syrian troops must retreat from the strong military positions they held inside Palestine, including the strategic Mishmar Hayarden settlement and Ein Geb and Dardara, south of Lake Tiberias. This amounts to compliance with Israeli demands that all Syrian troops be removed from Palestine soil.

As a compromise, these strategic positions affecting the vital water area of the Jordan River and Lake Tiberias will be demilitarized under United Nations supervision along an armistice frontier which follows the international Syrian-Palestine border.

The ceremony of signing the armistice was witnessed by Henri Vigier, political adviser to the United Nations’ acting mediator for Palestine, and Brig. Gen. William Riley, chief of staff of the truce supervision organization. A mixed armistice commission composed of two Israelis, two Syrians and a chairman, who will be Gen. Riley or a senior member of his staff designated by him, will supervise enforcement of the armistice conditions. The commission will have authority to empower the return of civilians to the demilitarized zones and the employment of limited numbers of locally recruited civilian police for security purposes.

The armistice terms specify recognition of the principle that there should be no military or political advantage gained as a result of the agreement and that no provision of the agreement should prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either party in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question. The armistice agreement also provides for the exchange of prisoners under supervision of the armistice commission. About 30 Israeli and 60 Arab prisoners are involved.

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