Security Council Votes Unanimously to Enforce Suez Cease-fire; Draft Close to U.S. Policy
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Security Council Votes Unanimously to Enforce Suez Cease-fire; Draft Close to U.S. Policy

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The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the Middle East late today, condemning all cease-fire violations, and demanding that member states cease all prohibited military acts and cooperate promptly and fully with the U.N. cease-fire observation teams in the Suez area.

The resolution emerged after a six-hour recess of the Council that followed a brief session this morning, when no progress had been made toward bridging the wide gap between two draft resolutions introduced at the Council’s emergency session last night — one by the Soviet Union, the other by the United States.

The USSR draft called outright for condemnation of Israel as the guilty party for allegedly starting Tuesday’s stiff fighting in the Suez area, when Israel destroyed 80 percent of Egypt’s oil refinery facilities, located in and around Port Suez. The American draft, however, called merely for cessation of cease-fire violations, blaming neither Israel nor Egypt. The resolution finally adopted today came very close to the type urged by the U.S.A.

Immediately after the resolution was adopted — with the Soviet Union joining the other 14 members of the Council in voting for it — Secretary-General Thant called on the Council to authorize him to double the number of cease-fire observers he has posted in the Suez area now. He asked also that, for the first time, the U.N. observers be given seaborne facilities by using patrol boats at sea, and that they be equipped also with helicopters for observations from the air.

The resolution as adopted declared:

“The Security Council, gravely concerned over recent military activities in the Middle East carried out in spite of Security Council resolutions ordering a cease-fire, and having heard the statements of the parties concerned and taking into consideration the information submitted to the Secretary-General:

“1) Condemns all violations of the cease-fire; 2) regrets the casualties and loss of property resulting from the violations; 3) reaffirms the strict necessity to observe the cease-fire; 4) demands that the member states concerned cease immediately all prohibited military acts in the area and cooperate fully and promptly with UNTSO.” The initials stand for the defunct United Nations Truce Supervision Organization which, Israel insists, no longer exists. Israel, however, recognizes fully the cease-fire and the observation teams headed by UNTSO’s former commander, Lt, Gen. Odd Bull.


Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. permanent representative, declared after the vote that the resolution “fully meets the spirit, language and intent” of the resolution presented by the United States last night.

Pointing out the necessity for expanded and strengthened U.N. observation machinery, Mr. Thant asked that the number of cease-fire observers in the Suez Canal area be increased to 90 from the present 43 in order to substantially broaden their patrolling functions, and that the number of observation posts on both banks of the Suez Canal be increased from the present nine to 18.

He also called for the acquisition and use of as many as four small patrol craft for patrolling the waters of the Canal, the Great Bitter Lake and adjacent waters, and for four small helicopters with operational and maintenance personnel to provide increased mobility for observers for aerial observation, the helicopters to be stationed on both banks of the Canal.

Mr. Thant said that because, on several occasions, U.N. observers have been caught in exchanges of fire between the two sides, he requests at the suggestion of General Bull that personnel be provided with body armor to protect the upper torso in addition to the steel helmets now in use.

The Soviet representative, Dr. Nikolai T. Fedorenko, insisted even after the resolution passed that it meant “to condemn Israel.” He was answered sharply by Israel’s Ambassador Gideon Rafael. The meeting was adjourned subject to recall after more consultations.

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