Israelis Clash with Truce Chief over Role of Mixed Commissions

Israel’s delegate to the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission today clashed with Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, chief of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, over a ruling by the M. A. C. in connection with an armed clash between Jordanian and Israeli patrols along the border between the two countries.

The M. A. C. ruling, handed down yesterday, held Israel responsible for an act of “aggression” last week in which one Israel soldier was killed and three Jordanian guardsmen were wounded. The Commission chairman, representing Burns, conceded after voting to censure Israel that, “from the evidence produced, it does not appear to me that the Israeli patrol had any aggressive intent.”

The M. A. C. chairman’s attitude, Israel charged today, “proves again the Commission’s utter helplessness and its artificial attempt merely to create the impression of action. The Commission has demonstrated again that it is satisfied merely to go through the motions of examining an incident, without grappling conscientiously with the fundamental problems of responsibility.”

In his reply, Gen. Burns stated that all the Commission can do, in most cases, is to decide whether there has been a violation and by whom. It is impossible to determine, he insisted, which shot or whose shot led to an exchange of firing across the demarcation line.

NEXT STORY