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U. N.secretary General Acts on Mt. Scopus Issue; Due Today in Israel

December 3, 1957
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold completed his talks in Jordan today and will be in Israel tomorrow. In a statement issued by him in Amman this afternoon, Mr. Hammarskjold emphasized that he had discussed with the Jordan Government the question of Jordan’s cooperation with the UN Truce Supervision Organization, as well as the passage of Israeli convoys to Mt. Scopus.

“Attention was given by the Secretary General and Jordan’s Foreign Minister to arrangements within the machinery of UNTSO by which cooperation could be assured,” the statement said. “The discussion of the specific issues on the agenda has also covered the difficulties which have recently arisen in connection with the convoy to Mt Scopus. The views of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan having been fully clarified, the Secretary General will now undertake further steps intended to resolve the problem.”

A spokesman for Mr. Hammarskjold indicated earlier today to the Jordanian press in the Old City that the Secretary General will not have any time to visit Mt. Scopus, as requested by the Jordanian authorities who claim that the Israelis there are building fortifications. The spokesman, George Evans Smith, expressed fear that Wednesday may see new trouble between Israel and Jordan. It is on that day that another fortnightly convoy is due to start from Israel for Mt. Scopus through the Jordan lines.

At the same time, Mr. Smith reportedly said that Mr. Hammarskjold considers the Mt. Scopus incident a “technical dispute” easily solved by “full adherence to the original Mt. Scopus agreement and the proper and objective interpretation of its wording. “That compact specifically mentions fuels as among the items to be passed through the lines, but Jordan refused to allow nine barrels of gasoline to be transported to Mt. Scopus last month, presumably on the assumption that gasoline need not be considered a fuel.


Mr. Hammarskjold’s spokesman is understood to have told a press conference in Amman that the Secretary General will ask Israel to return to the Mixed Armistice Commisssion from which Israel has absented itself for the past several years.

Israel Foreign Ministry circles, meanwhile, indicated tonight that there was a possibility that Israel would change its position on the MAC if its rules of procedure and its functioning were modified “into a framework which fits the actual problems and which leads to their solution.”

An Israeli official indicated that if Mr. Hammarskjold raises the question of alleged fortifications on Mt. Scopus, Israel would point out that an entire Arab Legion camp, complete with gun positions and a network of fortifications, occupies the Jordan half of the height. Until the Mt. Scopus issue is solved, it is believed, Israel will not be inclined to discuss any broader issues with the Secretary General.

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