Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Secretary-general is Considering Revival of Gussing Mission to Middle East

February 29, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary-General U Thant was reported today to be considering the advisability of proposing a revival of the Gussing mission of last Autumn to meet demands for investigation of the treatment of the Arab inhabitants of the territories occupied by Israel and of the Jews in the Arab countries. The Secretary-General, reportedly, has been under mounting pressure from the Arab states to send a United Nations commission in to the occupied areas where, the Arabs charge, Israel is guilty of genocide and other crimes against the Arab inhabitants.

Mr. Thant was understood to hold the view that it would not be advisable to try to send a commission into Israel-held areas for this purpose and he was said to have suggested alternatives to the Egyptians who have been speaking for the Arab states on this issue. The Egyptians, it was learned, rejected all the suggestions made thus far. The Secretary-General is said to share the view that a commission or any investigative body at this time could complicate the task of his special envoy. Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, in seeking to get peace talks launched.

Dr. Gussing was sent to the Middle East last Autumn as Mr. Thant’s special envoy to investigate the treatment of the civilian population in the occupied areas and the treatment of the Jewish minorities in the Arab states. His final report, submitted last September, showed that the Arab states had refused to give him facilities for first-hand study of the plight of the Jews in those countries.

Recommended from JTA