U. N. Security Council Orders Egypt and Israel to Cease Hostilities
Menu JTA Search

U. N. Security Council Orders Egypt and Israel to Cease Hostilities

Download PDF for this date

Egypt and Israel were ordered today by the United Nations Security Council to take “forthwith” all steps necessary to bring about order and tranquility in the Gaza area, and in particular “to desist from further acts of violence and to continue the cease-fire in full force and effect.”

The order was contained in a resolution proposed jointly by the United States, Britain and France and adopted unanimously this morning at a special session of the Security Council called at the request of the three powers. It also demanded that Egypt and Israel cooperate with Gen. E.L.M. Burns, UN truce chief, in his proposals to erect a barbed wire barrier along the demarcation line, to establish a demilitarized zone, and to resume the general Gaza pacification talks broken off on August 24.

The resolution also called for strict observance of the principle of freedom of movement for United Nations observers which, according to Gen. Burns. Israel violated by detaining some UN personnel on the night it attacked Khan Yunis, in Egyptian controlled territory. Several of the delegates, led off by Britain’s Sir Pierson Dixon, made a point of criticizing Israel for that action.

Ambassador Abba S. Eban, chief of the Israel delegation at the UN, avoided making any apologies for Israel’s retaliatory acts against Egypt. He pointed out to the Security Council the part of Gen. Burns’ latest report which refers to the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission resolutions adopted this week showing clearly that it was Egypt and not Israel that started firing on August 22, leading to the latest series of violent outbreaks. “Israel’s patience has its natural and prudent limitations,” said Mr. Eban.

The Israel delegate pointed out further that the tri-power resolution “does not attempt to indicate Egypt’s responsibility. My government and people have no doubt of the justification and inescapable necessity of the measures of effective defense which our armed forces were compelled to take by land and air,” he said. In general, he agreed with the objectives of the resolution and the resumption of the talks on Gaza pacification which Egypt broke off.

Dr. Omar Loutfi, Egyptian delegate, told the Security Council that it was Israel’s plan to force Egypt to discontinue the Gaza talks because it wanted to make “political” capital of the situation. He expressed Egypt’s readiness to accept every part of the resolution. Israel circles later indicated that Israel is not too anxious to accept the proposal for a demilitarized zone because it would create an area for further infiltration and because some of the settlements on the Israel side are right on border itself.


Soviet delegate Arkady A. Sobolev, who spoke after the Israel and Egyptian representatives presented their views, called on both parties to take concrete steps to prevent border clashes. He announced that the Soviet Union will vote in favor of the tri-power resolution. He expressed “sincere sympathy for the casualties suffered by Egypt and Israel,” and referred to the “most serious” Israel attack on Khan Yunis as well as to the invasion of Israel territory by Egypt. The Security Council must take “concrete measures to prevent recurrence” of violence, he declared.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the American delegate, was very firm in urging Egypt and Israel to cooperate with Gen. Burns. He said that the Security Council “expects” that the cease-fire will be maintained. He insisted that both parties must undertake “all necessary steps to bring about peace and tranquility in the area.” Mr. Lodge expressed particularly firm support of the idea of a demilitarized zone.

Sir Pierson Dixon of Britain appealed strongly to both parties not only to maintain the cease-fire in good faith but to accept Gen Burns’ barbed wire and demilitarized zone proposals and then resume the interrupted Gaza negotiations. Sir Pierson, however, also emphasized the Council’s concern with the principle that United Nations observers in the Gaza area must not be interfered with. His mention of freedom of movement for UN observers was understood to be a reference to Gen. Burns’ report of yesterday in which he said Israel had detained a number of UN observers just before the cease-fire was agreed upon.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund