LAKE SUCCESS (Jan. 5)
Brig. Gen. William E. Riley, who heads the U.N. Armistice Commission in Palestine, said here today that the military status quo was being maintained with a minimum of friction and declared that the armistice commission itself had little to do because the parties involved met daily around the conference table to discuss their own problems.
He cited the fact that his staff of observers had been reduced from 525 to only 60 in a year’s time. Gen. Riley, who made his comments at a press conference on the eve of his return to Palestine, said that the Commission was not bound by the demilitarization clauses in the General Assembly resolution on the internationalization of Jerusalem since the Commission had entirely different terms of reference.
He thought it possible that a peace settlement would be negotiated between Israel and Transjordan this year and added that “certainly this is what we are working for.” He returns to Palestine tomorrow, via Damascus.