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Hertok Asks U.N. for Arms, International Force, Opening of Port for Jewish Immigration

January 16, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An international police force for Palestine, arming of the Jewish militia and opening of Tel Aviv port to Jewish immigration under Jewish control on Feb. 1 were demanded today by Moshe Shertok appearing on behalf of the Jewish Agency before the U.N. Implementation Commission.

At an earlier meeting of the Commission today, a resolution was introduced falling in the Security Council to provide an international police force to carry out the United Nations partition decision. The resolution was placed before the Commission by one of its members, Vincente J. Francisco of the Philippines.

Shertok took issue with the attitude of the British Government which reportedly ?as advised the U.N. Commission not to come to Palestine before May 1, in order to avoid “dual authority” in the country. He urged the Commission to proceed to Palestine as soon as possible. British authority in Palestine, he said, would remain unchallenged while the Commission would be engaged in the task of setting up the Councils of Government and the police forces.

Emphasizing that the dispatch of an international armed force is the “most necessary and most desirable” way of dealing with violence in Palestine, Shertok said that should this prove impractical, the burden for implementing the U.N. partition decision will fall upon the Jewish militia. He, therefore, asked for equipment and finances to establish such a militia.

The Jewish Agency representative suggested that the Security Council lay down a policy of arming and helping those who carry out the U.N. decision. Member states of the U.N. should be urged by the Security Council not to send arms to those opposing the decision, he urged.

The Jews in Palestine, he declared, are looking with “keenest interest” to the carrying out of the U.N. plan to open a port on Feb. 1 in the Jewish area of Palestine for Jewish immigration. This, he said, will be a test sass for the U.N. since it will mark the beginning of the implementation of the partition decision.

On the question of secrecy which the British imposed on the Implementation Commission, Shertok said he did not object to this where it involved a question of security. However, he insisted that information of Britain’s time table of withdrawal should hot be withheld from the Jewish Agency. Otherwise, he said a British withdrawal from any community would leave a dangerous vacuum.

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