UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., (Jul. 10)
Gen. William E. Riley, chief of the U.N. Truce Commission in Palestine, arrived here tonight for consultations on the Israel-Syrian dispute over the drainage of the Huleh swamps.
In a cabled report received from him yesterday at the U.N. headquarters here, Gen. Riley said that Israel had refused to permit U.N. observers to witness the return to their homes in the demilitarized zone of Arabs who had been evacuated by Israel from there. Some 260 Arab evacuees, he reported, had been returned to Baqqara, on the Syrian border, and were established there in tents until their villages in the zone could be repaired.
The return of the evacuees was negotiated by the chairman of the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission, Col. Samuel Taxis, and the Israel Government in accordance with a Security Council resolution of May 18. Gen. Riley reported that Col. Taxis had personally polled the evacuees, and that approximately 260 of a total of 632 had elected to return. An Israel convoy transported them to Baqqara on July 5, the cable said.
The General complained, however, that Israel had refused to allow more than 11 of 115 Arab civilians who had fled to Syria at the outbreak of the disturbances several months ago to return to their homes in the zone. From the cable it appeared that the present situation is that the Mixed Armistice Commission chairman insists that all evacuated Arabs be permitted to return to their villages, while the senior Israel delegate has placed certain limitations upon their return.