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Eisenhower Expresses “grave Concern” in Messages to Ben Gurion

President Eisenhower today dispatched a personal message to Israel Premier David Ben Gurion expressing grave concern over reports of Israel mobilization and recommending against “forcible initiative” that might endanger peace. The following is the text of a statement issued at the White House:

“During the last several days I have received disturbing reports from the Middle East. These included information that Israel was making a heavy mobilization of its armed forces. These reports became so well authenticated that yesterday morning, after a meeting with the Secretary of State, I sent a personal message to the Prime Minister of Israel expressing my grave concern and renewing a previous recommendation that no forcible initiative be taken that would endanger the peace.

“I have just received additional reports which indicate that the Israel mobilization continued and has become almost complete with consequent cessation of many civil activities. The gravity of the situation is such that I am dispatching a further urgent message to Prime Minister Ben Gurion.

“I have given instructions that these developments be discussed with the United Kingdom and France which joined with the United States in the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950, with respect to the maintenance of peace in the Middle East.

“While we have not heard of such large-scale mobilization in countries neighboring Israel which would warrant such Israeli mobilization, I have also directed that my concern over the present situation be communicated to other Middle East states urgently requesting that they refrain from any action which could lead to hostilities.

“The Security Council of the United Nations now has before it various aspects of the maintenance of peace in the Middle East. I earnestly hope that none of the nations involved will take any action that will hinder the Council in its efforts to achieve a peaceful solution.”

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban today met in what was apparently an emergency meeting with Robert D. Murphy, Deputy Undersecretary of State, in connection with the Israel-Arab war crisis. The meeting began at 5:30 P.M. at the State Department. The meeting was requested by the State Department.

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