U. N. Votes to Ask Israel to Withdraw Immediately from Sinai
Menu JTA Search

U. N. Votes to Ask Israel to Withdraw Immediately from Sinai

Download PDF for this date

The special emergency session of the General Assembly this evening passed a resolution calling upon Israel “once again to withdraw immediately all its forces” behind the original Israel-Egypt demarcation lines set up in the original armistice agreement between the two countries on February 24, 1949. The vote on this resolution was 65 for, one against and ten abstentions. The United States and USSR voted in favor, France and Britain abstained and Israel cast the lone vote against.

Another resolution adopted by the Assembly by a vote of 64 for, none against, and 12 abstentions fortified early resolutions setting up the United Nations international police force in the Middle East. This resolution, among other provisions, set up an advisory committee to administer the work of the police force under the chairmanship of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.

The committee is composed of the representatives of Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Ceylon, Norway and Pakistan. In a separate vote, a Polish amendment to add Czechoslovakia to this group was defeated. Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, until now commander of the UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, heads the United Nations force, the first UN police force ever established.

During a long day of debate in which more than 45 members of the UN participated, not a single representative said a word in defense of Israel’s evident reluctance to withdraw behind the old demarcation lines. The vast majority of the speakers, including the representatives of the U. S. and Britain called for Israel’s immediate withdrawal.

Hemy Cabot Lodge, chairman or the U. S. delegation, told the special Assembly that withdrawal of all the invading forces from Egypt is one of the prime objectives at the present time and there is “no time to lose.” Sir Pierson Dixon declared that it was the British Government’s “policy to insure that Israel forces withdraw from Egyptian territory.”

The repeated assault against Israel’s position in regard to withdrawal was bolstered time and again by delegates quoting an address made in the Israel Parliament today by Premier David Ben Gurion. The Israel statesman–was quoted as insisting that his country would not permit the stationing of forces either in Israel or in territory under Israel’s jurisdiction. Not only Arab representatives, but others as well, including India’s V. K. Krishna Menon, interpreted Mr. Ben Gurion’s stand as “defiance” of the UN.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hammarskjold made a statement to the Assembly “clarifying” his police force plans. He told the Assembly that if Israel “unfortunately” refuses to withdraw its forces from Egyptian territory, he would immediately bring the matter to the attention of the General Assembly or the Security Council “for such measures as those two main organs of the United Nations might decide upon.”

Mr. Krishna Menon then interpreted that statement to mean that the UN would “at once turn to other provisions open to us under the Charter.” He was understood to mean the employment of the severest sanctions, including possible military action against Israel.

Mr. Hammarskjold told the Assembly the UN force will be stationed along the dividing line between Egyptian and Israeli troops. The force would have to be located close to the Suez Canal at the beginning, but would end up at the armistice line.

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