Menu JTA Search

Israel, Jordan Trade Charges on Origin of Jerusalem Battle

Israel and Jordan, in communications to the president of the United Nations Security Council, traded charges and counter-charges as to who precipitated the three-day “small war” in Jerusalem. However, neither of them asked for a meeting of the Security Council, Their communications will merely be distributed among the Council members.

Mordecai R. Kidron, Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel at the United Nations, charged in his communication that the Arab Legion of Jordan started the fighting by opening fire from its positions in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Israeli section of the city. “There was not the slightest provocation for this deliberate attack,” he stated. “It was obviously planned in advance and centrally directed.”

Issa Bandak, Acting Foreign Minister of Jordan, in a cable to the United Nations, said that “armed forces of the Israeli Army have showered the Arab section of Jerusalem with bullets and shells of their automatic guns.” Mr. Kidron emphasized in his communication that the Israeli forces were under orders not to return the fire when the Arab Legion started to lob mortar shells into the Israel part of Jerusalem. “No fire was returned for two hours, ” he stressed. “Eventually, however, as the Arab firing continued to gain in intensity and striking power, it became necessary for Israel forces to react,” he pointed out.

“These latest attacks, ” Mr. Kidron said in his communication, “constitute a new deliberate act of repudiation by the Jordan Government of its obligations under the Armistice Agreement. It would seem that the absence of any international reaction to Jordan’s flouting of the Armistice Agreement in the past has served to encourage the Government of Jordan to commit this outrageous disturbance of the peace of Jerusalem, which constitutes an offense against the entire civilized world, no less than against Israel. “

U. N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold conferred during the week-end with representatives of the United States, Britain and France in connection with the flare-up in Jerusalem and also met with the Soviet delegate Semyon Tsarapkin. At the same time, he sent a communication to the Israel and Jordan Governments and to Maj. Gen. Vagn Bennike, chief of the UN truce commission in Palestine, insisting on complete and unconditional observance of the armistice pact by both parties putting an end to the shooting.

NEXT STORY