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Israel Agrees to Temporary Suspension of Jordan River Project

Israel announced in the Security Council today that it was willing to suspend work on the Jordan River canal project temporarily pending consideration of the Syrian complaint by the Council, “without prejudice to the merits of the case. “

Israel Ambassador Abba S. Eban told the Council that he fully understood the view that temporary suspension of the work on the dam would facilitate the Security Council’s consideration of the question and announced that his government would agree to such a temporary suspension with the understanding this would be done “without prejudice to the merits of the case. ” The Israeli spokesman stressed that his government wished to do its utmost to facilitate the work of the Security Council.

Mr. Eban said his statement was in “direct response” to the views expressed by the Security Council. It was, he said, an undertaking by his government to order a temporary suspension of work in the demilitarized zone. He pointed out that the position taken by his government today was in direct line with that expressed by Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett on October 13 when he offered to suspend work on the canal temporarily.

Representatives of the United States, Britain and France expressed gratification over the Eban statement. Lebanese delegate Dr. Charles Malik congratulated the Israeli.

The Security Council then unanimously adopted a resolution reading:

“Having taken note of the report of the Chief of Staff the truce supervision organization dated October 23, 1953, desirous of facilitating the consideration of the question, without however, preiudicing the rights, claims or position of the parties concerned, the Security Council deems it desirable to that end that the works started in the demilitarized zone on the 2nd of September, 1953, should be suspended pending the urgent examination of the question by the Security Council.

“Takes note with satisfaction of the statement made by the Israel representative at the 631st meeting regarding the undertaking given by government to suspend the works in question during the examination of the question; requests the Chief of Staff of the truce supervision organization to inform it regarding the fulfillment of that undertaking.”

The Council decided to adjourn discussion of the question until Friday afternoon.

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