JERUSALEM (May. 11)
Dr. Ralph Bunche, Assistant Secretary of the United Nations and personal representative of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, arrived here today on a mission to ease the tension which has developed between Israel and Jordan over the Mt. Scopus issue.
After a brief meeting with UN truce chief Maj Gen. Carl C. von Horn, Dr. Bunche left for Amman to confer with Jordanian officials. He is expected back in Jerusalem tonight. His major task is understood to be getting into operation an agreement on Mt. Scopus negotiated several months ago by Dr. Francisco Urrutia, another of Mr Hammarskjold’s aides.
Dr. Bunche arrived here just after the Jordanians agreed to allow through to Mt. Scopus an Israeli convoy they had held up for two days by insisting that two “espionage agents” be removed from it. Arab sources said today that the Jordanians had given in after receiving a personal message from Mr. Hammarskjold, who returned today to New York from Geneva. Nonetheless, the Jordan papers claimed falsely today that the convoy had been permitted through only after the two Israelis, A. Levi and A. Cohen, had been removed.
Gen. von Horn, who was feted by the Jordanians in Jerusalem last night, actually upheld Israel’s contention that the Urrutia agreement gave the Jordanians no right to control personnel going to the Mt. Scopus enclave. Only the UN has the right of control over the convoys, the Israelis insisted.
Informal sources here said the main topics of Dr. Bunche’s conversations during his visit would include the question as to whether Jordan has the right to veto either personnel or supply components of the convoys. This was expected to be part of a more general discussion about the implementation of the Urrutia agreement involving mutual demilitarization of the Mt. Scopus area by both countries.
The Jordanians had held up the convoy, which provides supplies and personnel relief to the garrison guarding Hadassah and Hebrew University buildings in the isolated enclave in Jordan-held old Jerusalem, with a complaint against two of the 15 civilians in the convoy, A. Cohen and A. Levi.
Gen. von Horn rejected the Jordan charge after 48 hours of conferences with Israel and Jordan officials, as well as with Mr. Hammarskjold, who is now in Geneva.
Israel had no difficulty demonstrating that both Cohen and Levi had been with previous convoys as inspectors of the Hebrew University Library and Hadassah hospital and that an official list of infiltrators of both Jordan and Israel, recorded by the UN, did not include Levi and Cohen.
Observers here feel that one of the reasons for Dr. Bunche’s sudden arrival in this area is the concern of United Nations circles over the possibility that Israel-Jordan tension may get out of hand. King Hussein of Jordan is pictured as “getting tough” with Israel as a matter of competing with United Arab Republic President Nasser.