Syria Disagrees with U.N. Truce Chief on Border Recommendations

A sharp dissent from a report sent to the Security Council on January 11 dealing with Israel and Syrian differences along the demilitarized zone separating their borders was sent to the members of the Council by the Syrian Government this week-end.

Like the January 11 report, which came from Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, chief of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, the rejoinder was also chanelled through Gen. Burns.

In 40 pages of comment, the Syrian Government analyzes many of the sections of the January report, which had concluded with a suggestion that Israel and Syria negotiate re-division of sections of the demilitarized zone.

Syria goes through the motions of indicating some agreement with Gen. Burns’ suggestions for re-division of the demilitarized zones. However, Syria’s preliminary steps to such re-division are complicated and apparently predicated on the understanding that Israel would never agree to such a re-division anyway. Israel claims the entire territory and would not, in fact, accept such a proposal.

Syria concedes many of the points in the January report which had shown that, in numerous instances, Arabs living in the demilitarized zone, had refused to accept Israel aid, while in other instances, substantial educational and medical services were given to the Arabs in the zone by Israel.

Israel proposals to some Arab villages to provide them with schools, medical services and stores were rejected by the villagers, according to Syria, because Israel had contemplated “the appointment of Israel teachers and doctors.” In other instances, the Syrian complaint declares, Israel gave medical care and education to the Arab villagers only for the purpose of winning them over.

“If Syria had been consulted,” the complaint declares, “it would certainly have opposed the ‘progressive Israelization’ of the Arab inhabitants of the demilitarized zone by education and medical care lavished upon them with malicious intent.” The Syrian complaint does not call for any Security Council action, but merely informs the Council of the Syrian Government’s position.

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