UNITED NATIONS N. Y. (Oct. 13)
Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold warned this week-end that the present quiet and “generally satisfactory” conditions along the Israel-Gaza border could erupt in violence “at any moment, and spelled out plans for keeping the United Nations Emergency Force in its present positions for a period extending at least through the year 1958.”
Mr Hammarskjold made these points, among others, in a 50-page report to the General Assembly on the organization, operation, deployment, future and financing of UNEF, His seven-nation advisory committee on UNEF accepted the report. The details will be discussed in a plenary session of the Assembly late this month or early in November.
The Secretary General also pointed out to the Assembly that UNEF is still not placed on Israel’s side of the Gaza border, listing that point among “a few issues that are unresolved.” Among these issues, he stated, is “the completion of UNEF’s deployment Israel continues to object to have the UN police force on its side of the border.”
Other “unresolved” issues which Mr. Hammarskjold kept alive through pointing them up in his report are the right of UNEF to fire “in either direction” at infiltrators approaching the demarcation line; and “the idea of a protective fence along a part of the whole of the demarcation line.” Israel insists on a barbed-wire fence along the entire frontier, while Egypt wants only certain sections fenced.
“The prevailing quiet and generally satisfactory conditions along the line,” Mr. Hammarskjold continued, “so far as UNEF is concerned, should not, however, as the commander of the force has warned, be considered as obviating the need to find, when the time is propitious, satisfactory solutions for the many unresolved issues. The line under present conditions is vulnerable and the quiet, at any moment, could be abruptly broken.” Quietness along the lines, he emphasized, “is indispensable to fruitful effort towards the removal of major obstacles to peace in the Near East.”