Bernadotte to Confer with Arab Leaders in Lebanon; Observers Leave for Palestine Today
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Bernadotte to Confer with Arab Leaders in Lebanon; Observers Leave for Palestine Today

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U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folke Bernadette will go to Beirut Saturday to confer with the president of Lebanon in what may be the first major move for an over-all settlement of the Palestine issue, it was revealed here tonight after the Secretariat received a message from Bernadotte.

Bernadotte received the invitation from the president of Lebanon. Present at the talks will be the secretary-general of the Arab league, Rahman Abdul Azzam Pasha, The object of the conference was not revealed, but the fact that the Arabs took the initiative to call on the mediator in contrast to the previous difficulties the mediator had with Arab negotiations is regarded here as a turning point in Arab policy on the Palestine question.

One hundred and ten military observers will leave the United Nations mediation headquarters on the Island of Rhodes for Palestine tomorrow, it was disclosed here. They will first report to the U.N. truce control center at Haifa before being assigned posts. Before leaving the officers–French, American and Belgian–will be given a thorough briefing on their task in maintaining the U.N. truce.

The capitals of three Arab states are among the points to which U.N. observers will be sent. They are Amman, Beirut and Damascus–capitals of Transjordan, Lebanon and Syria, respectively. Other points to be observed at once are Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth, under Israeli control; Jerusalem, under Jewish-Arab control; and Nablus and Gaza, under Arab domination.


The state of Israel in a reality, Arthur Lourie, director of the Israeli mission to the United Nations, declared here today at a press conference, to which he reported on his recent trip to the Jewish state. He described the country as completely under military control of the Jews, as all of Palestine might have been within a few weeks if the fighting had continued.

He said it should be understood that the Jews accepted the new truce out of strength and not out of weakness. The relation of the Jews to the U.N. observers, he reported, was generally good. But he was very critical of the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem, who, in his capacity as member of the Truce Commission, sponsored recommendations which would tend to curtail the precarious food supply to the people of Jerusalem. He reported much bitterness by the Jerusalem population against mediator Count Folke Bernsdotte’s suggestion to turn over the city to the Arabs. Jews in Palestine are also very critical of Bernadotte’s stand on the immigration policy, Lourie stated.

Commenting on the mass exodus of the Arab population from Israeli territory, Lourie estimated that only about fifty thousand Arabs were left in the state of Israel north of the Negev, and possibly another fifty thousand more in the desert area. He said the Arabs fled in “unreasoning panic” when Arab forced a lost battles — in most cases induced to do so by Arab commanders for “political reasons.” Asked how the Israeli Government envisages the rehabilitation of these Arabs, Lourie said his government had not yet taken any action but suggested that some government circles believe the problem will be eventually solved by the mass exchange of Arabs in Israeli for the hundreds of thousands of Jews now living in Arab states.

At a second press conference, U.N. Acting Secretary-General Dr. Victor Hoo disclosed an inventory of supplies which Count Bernadotte had requested of the U.S. Government. These consist of three destroyers, 150 jeeps, 30 jeep freighters, six 6-ton trucks, 430 lighter trucks, 15 transport planes, ten observer planes and two helicopters. Dr. Hoo said no meeting of the Security Council was scheduled for this week, but added that a meeting could be called unexpectedly.

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