UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Dec. 16)
A draft resolution placing full authority for settlement of the Jordan River power project dispute between Syria and Israel in the hands of Major Gen. Vagn Bennike, United Nations Chief of Staff in Palestine, was submitted to the Security Council today by the United States, Great Britain and France. It would have him report back within 90 days on the measures taken to solve the dispute.
The draft resolution gives no instructions or makes no recommendations to Gen. Bennike on resumption of work on the Jordan project by Israel beyond the general provision that he “explore possibilities of reconciling the interests involved in this dispute including rights in the demilitarized zone and full satisfaction of existing irrigation rights at all seasons, and to take such steps as he may deem appropriate to effect a reconciliation, having in view the development of the natural resources affected in a just and orderly manner for the general welfare.”
The resolution instructs the chief of staff “to maintain the demilitarized character of the zone” and calls on both Israel and Syria “to comply with all his decisions and requests in the exercise of his authority under the armistice agreement. ” It requests the U. N. Secretary-General to provide experts, particularly hydraulic engineers, to give Gen. Bennike “the necessary data for a complete appreciation of the project in question and of its effect on the demilitarized zone.
ACTION ON RESOLUTION DEFERRED UNTIL TODAY
The resolution stresses Gen. Bennike’s request to Israel on Sept. 23 to halt work on the project “so long as an agreement is not arranged” and also the Israel statement on Oct. 27 halting work “pending urgent” examination of the question by the Council. It declares that to promote the return of permanent peace in Palestine, it is essential that the Syrian-Israel armistice agreement “be strictly and faithfully observed by the parties” and points out that under the armistice conditions, “the Mixed Armistice Commission’s interpretation shall prevail.” It also stresses that the chief of staff, as chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission has “responsibility for the general supervision of the demilitarized zone.”
Action on the resolution was deferred until tomorrow at the suggestion of the Israeli delegate, Abba S. Eban, who pointed out that the resolution and the speeches by the representatives of the three sponsoring powers had to be considered as an entity.