U. N. Truce Chief Tells Security Council Israel ‘weakened’ His Authority
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U. N. Truce Chief Tells Security Council Israel ‘weakened’ His Authority

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Major General Carl C. von Horn, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, told the Security Council here today that Israel’s 11-year-old boycott of the Syrian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission has “greatly weakened” his authority and is “inconsistent” with the objectives of the Syrian-Israel Armistice Agreement of 1949.

He cited a Council resolution, adopted in 1951, to bolster his accusation. Israel has been boycotting the Mixed Armistice Commission since 1951.

General von Horn’s statement on the MAC was part of a supplementary report on the current Syrian-Israeli situation, in which he replied in writing to questions asked of him at yesterday’s Council session dealing with the Israeli and Syrian charges and counter-charges of aggression.

In his answers, he also accused both Syria and Israel of denying “freedom of movement” to the UN military observers in the demilitarized zone along the Lake Tiberias shore opposite Israel.

The Council, which met today for the purpose of hearing General von Horn’s replies to specific queries, adjourned after a 20-minute session and will reconvene tomorrow morning after all participants have had the opportunity to study the UNTSO chief’s supplementary report.


Meanwhile, as the session opened, Israel placed formally before the Council a draft resolution, which would express the Council’s “grave concern” over “the attacks by Syrian armed forces against citizens and territory of Israel.”

In presenting the document formally, Michael S. Comay, chairman of the Israel Delegation here, had altered the draft somewhat from a proposal for a resolution which he placed before the Council yesterday as a “tentative suggestion.” In yesterday’s version Mr. Comay had asked the Council to “condemn” Syria instead of merely voicing “grave concern.”

The rest of the Israeli draft, however, is harsher than the previous suggestions. The draft would have the Council not only express “grave concern” but would also call upon Syria to abide fully by all the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement, and in particular, to prevent all illegal crossings from Syrian territory, to cease all interference with Israel activities on Lake Tiberias, and to desist from firing into Israel territory.

No member of the Council today made any comment whatever, publicly, either about the Israel resolution or about the Von Horn report. While a large section of General von Horn’s new statement concerned itself with the Mixed Armistice Commission, he also made these points: “No fortified position” on the Syrian side where Israel’s military forces staged the March 17 raid which preceded the current Syrian and Israeli complaints, was seen by the UN military observers as “existing or destroyed.”

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