Arabs Reject Israeli Moves for Direct Peace Talks; Jews Oppose Indefinite Truce
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Arabs Reject Israeli Moves for Direct Peace Talks; Jews Oppose Indefinite Truce

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The Israeli Government has taken several steps to make direct contact with the Arabs to negotiate a peace settlement in Palestine, but the Arabs have rejected all such attempts, Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok today told a press conference here.

The Israeli Minister added that under these conditions the Jews “certainly object to an indefinite prolongation of the truce” as unjustifiable. “Consequently,” he continued, “we must maintain our army on a war footing. An indefinite truce is an intolerable uncertainty.”

Israel has informed U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte that it will not agree to British personnel as truce supervisors, he told the newsmen. Using very strong language, the Foreign Minister described the British detention of over 10,000 Jewish refugees in Cyprus as a “demonstration of lawlessness” and “piracy without the slightest vestige of law” either on the part of Britain or the British administration of Cyprus.

He stated that Israel cannot yet turn over the question of the detentions to the International Court of Justice because the internees are not yet Israeli citizens. He also revealed that the government has already taken the preliminary steps necessary to apply for membership in the United Nations.

Turning to the question of Jerusalem, Shertok declared that the government has not yet decided on its final aims regarding Jerusalem, but that it is being very careful not to prejudice its original claims to the city. Pointing out that the Christian world made no “outcry” when Bernadotte offered to turn over the city to the Arabs in contradiction to decisions of the Security and Trusteeship Councils, he said that apparently the Christian world prefers seeing the city entirely under Moslem rule than that part of it shall be under Jewish control.Under such circumstances, he emphasized, “we no longer consider ourselves morally bound to an international regime for Jerusalem.”

Finally, he disclosed that a special representative has been sent to U.N. truce headquarters in Haifa to protest against continued Arab violations of the truce and to advise the U.N. that the Jews will not tolerate further breaches. He outlined two courses of action open to the Jews in dealing with the violations: pressing the United Nations for sanctions against the Arabs responsible; and, reserving the right of complete freedom of action in dealing with the invaders.

A government communique today revealed that a list of 42 violations which occurred in all parts of Palestine, except Jerusalem, between July 20 and 30 has been submitted to Bernadotte. It was reported here that the Israeli Foreign Service in Europe will be centered in Paris where the top-European diplomatic headquarters will be established.


An extraordinary edition of the Official Gazette today carried an order of David Ben Gurion, in his capacity of Defense Minister, outlining the territory included in the area of Jerusalem which is under military occupation. In areas occupied by the Jews since the proclamation of Israel the effective date of this decree is May 15.

The decree provides for residents of the area to aid the army in maintaining law and order and provides for trial by civil or military court of violators of any law issued by the Defense Minister. A map published with the order outlines the exact parts of the city and its western approaches which are covered and provides that in areas which case under Jewish control after May 15 the order is effective on the day the Jews took them over.

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