U. N. Truce Chief Arrives from Israel Today for Security Council Meeting

Palestine truce chief Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns will arrive here tomorrow from Jerusalem to attend the United Nations Security Council session which will act on the report which UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold submitted to members of the Council following his return from his recent “peace mission” to Israel and the Arab countries.

The meeting of the Security Council is scheduled to be on Tuesday. It was called at the request of the British delegation which will circulate tomorrow a resolution concerning Mr. Hammarskjold’s report. In the past, resolutions on the Arab-Israel issue were presented to the Security Council jointly by Britain, the United States and France.

For the first time, the Soviet Union has been consulted by the West concerning the situation in the Middle East. Since the Tripartite Declaration issued by Britain, the United States and France in 1950, the Big Three Western Powers have acted along lines indicating exclusion of Russia from Middle Eastern affairs. Yesterday, however, Sir Pierson consulted with Arkady A. Sobolev, chairman of the USSR delegation, on the British resolution concerning the Middle East which Sir Pierson will introduce at the Council meeting. Sir Pierson showed the resolution to the principal “interested parties” the delegations of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Prior to his departure from Israel this week-end, Gen. Burns protested to the Jordan Government for opening fire on an Israeli police patrol in the Mount Scopus area. The shots wounded one Israeli policeman. In a Jordanian communique issued some hours after the incident, it was claimed that fire was opened strictly in self-defense. Investigation of the circumstances surrounding the clash brought to light the fact that since the patrol was “fully in the open on the forward slope of the mount, it is unlikely that any aggression was intended.” Had such been their intention, they would immediately have been in “great danger.”

This most recent action by forces of the Jordan Government was viewed as a direct contravention of the assurances given Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold with regards to the strict observance of a cease-fire. According to the cease-fire agreement, the only valid grounds for opening fire are self-defense. But inasmuch as the Israel patrol was more than 800 meters from the nearest Jordan position and within the demilitarized zone, it is inconceivable that the conditions of self-defense could apply, Gen. Burns’ protest noted.

NEXT STORY