JERUSALEM (Jul. 22)
The Israel Cabinet heard a report today from Premier David Ben Gurion on his talks during the week-end with United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. No details of Mr. Ben Gurion’s report were made available, except that he informed the Cabinet of the exchange of views between himself and Mr. Hammarskjold on the Arab-Israel situation in the light of recent events.
While the Israel Cabinet was meeting today, Mr. Hammarskjold was holding a conference in Cairo with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Yesterday, he met briefly with high Jordanian officials in Amman. The Jordanians, it was reported, said that he presented no new proposals but insisted that Jordan must stand by her truce agreement with Israel. The Jordanians added that they were satisfied with the discussion.
Satisfaction with the discussion between Mr. Hammarskjold and Premier Ben Gurion was also expressed in a joint communique which they issued-at-the close of their two-day. Alks in Jerusalem. The communique stated: “The Secretary General and The Premier had a full and fruitful review of developments in this area occurring since the last visit of the Secretary General. They discussed ways and means of establishing a state of affairs as envisaged in the Armistice Agreements between Israel and her neighbors.”
Diplomatic circles here feel that the UN Chief’s unscheduled inclusion of Jordan in his Middle Eastern itinerary should give Israeli leaders good reason for gratification. The reason being that Mr. Hammarskjold undoubtedly pressed upon Jordanian authorities Israel’s demand for a strict observance of the cease fire. But even more important is Israel’s desire to set up a special committee provided for in the General Armistice Agreements.
This special committee would have as its function resumption of activity at the Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University, both located on Mount Scopus. Also included in the special committee’s mandate would be the providing of access to the Holy Places in the Old City of Jerusalem and the use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
It is hoped here that while in Amman, Mr. Hammarskjold will raise the question of calling a conference between Israel and Jordan for the purpose of revising the armistice agreements. It is Israel’s desire that the Mixed Armistice Commission be provided with “teeth.” Heretofore the commission was limited simply to censuring the guilty party and pleading with the offender to find ways of preventing aggression.
The UN Secretary General is said to have expressed here the belief, gained in his recent talks with Soviet leaders, that the Soviet Union will support efforts to settle the Arab-Israeli dispute. However, Premier Ben Gurion reportedly was somewhat less optimistic about Russia’s role as a result of its arms sales to the Arabs, but said he was willing to wait and see.