Israel and Jordan Blamed for Armistice Violation in U.N. Report

The Chief of Staff of the truce supervision organization in Palestine, Lt. Gen. William E. Riley, today informed the United Nations Security Council that the machinery of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission had become “inadequate” because of the way the delegates acted as lawyers prosecuting or defending a case.

He said that public opinion on both sides had become inflamed by semi-official reports on incidents published before investigation and thus the chairman of the commission found himself in the position of acting as a judge attempting to decide “between conflicting conclusions.”

The commission, Gen. Riley said, is effective only when both parties are ready to use it to settle their difficulties, when they willingly cooperate in an investigation. “Such is not the atmosphere today in the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission,” he emphasized.

“The time has arrived for the two governments to review the problem of infiltration and perhaps other problems,” Gen. Riley said in his report. He added that he had approached Israel and Jordan on this matter and had received a favorable reply from the Israeli Government. He indicated that none had yet been received from Jordan.

The UN official referred to “the serious violation of the cease-fire in Jerusalem” on April 22-23. He said it was impossible to find out who had started the shooting. However, he declared, “Israeli firing at people in open space in front of Damascus Gate, a usually crowded spot, has given rise to much emotion. This may be considered a most flagrant violation of cease-fire. The cease-fire was also violated by the other side when several Israeli civilians were fired at in other areas.”

Gen. Riley also referred to the isolated shots on the afternoon of the 23rd of April which came from the Israel side but caused no casualties. “When these shots were reported, the Israel delegation investigated immediately and apologized to the Chief of Staff,” he said.

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