Bernadotte Confers with Shertok on Armistice, Demilitarizing Jerusalem, Immigration
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Bernadotte Confers with Shertok on Armistice, Demilitarizing Jerusalem, Immigration

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Count Folke Bernadotte, U.N. Palestine mediator, conferred for several hours today with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok in the government’s capital in the former German suburb of Sarona, which has been renamed Hakirya. The mediator later returned to U.N. truce control headquarters in Haifa.

After the meeting, it was reported that for the first time the term “armistice” was used in the talks between Bernadotte and Shertok, Five major points on the agenda of their meeting, it was learned, were:

1. The organization of truce-supervision machinery in Israel and in the neighboring Arab states; 2. The demilitarization of Jerusalem; 3. The return to Israel of some 300,000 Arab refugees who fled the country during the fighting; 4. Jewish immigration into Israel during the truce period; 5. A procedure for transforming the present truce agreement into a permanent armistice.

Political observers here anticipate great difficulties even in the maintenance of further discussions, since on most points the views of the Israel Government and the Arab states are completely divergent. It is known that the government is firmly opposed both to restrictions on immigration and to permitting the Arab refugees to return to Israel while there is still a possibility that the war may resume.


“Israeli authorities will not agree, during this truce period, to a U.N. check of the Lateral road area,” a government spokesman said today, explaining that the Jews consider it unnecessary since they control practically the entire road to Jerusalem. If the Arabs do not agree to allow us to use the Ras el Ain water pumping station, which supplies Jerusalem, the spokesman added, “we will not permit the Arabs to use the Latrun-Ramallah road, which is under Jewish control.” The Ras el Ain pumping station is reported to be in good condition.

A total of 34 Arab planes were shot down by Israeli fighters and anti-aircraft during the Palestine fighting, it was revealed here today at a press conference by Dan Tolkowsky, senior operations officer at the Israeli air force, and Mordecai Alon, ace fighter pilot and commander of a fighter wing. Both are 27 years old, Alon is credited with shooting down three Arab aircraft.

“If the war starts again,” they declared “the Israeli air force will hit the enemies harder and more often.” They revealed that Jewish planes bombed Cairo once, Damascus twice and El Arish–Egyptian supply base in the Negev–three times, as well as other points, during the war. Only ten percent of the air force’s staff comes from abroad, they said, with the-number of non-Jews under one percent.

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