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Security Council Adopts Resolution Condemning Israel for Gaza

March 30, 1955
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The United Nations Security Council adopted today a resolution unanimously condemning the Israel attack on Gaza as “a violation of the cease-fire provisions” and as “inconsistent with the obligations” of the Israel-Egyptian armistice agreement and the UN Charter. The resolution called upon Israel “to take all necessary measures to prevent such actions.”

The resolution was adopted following statements made by the delegations of the major powers, including the Soviet Union. In their statements the representatives of the United States. Britain and France said that while Egypt must be held responsible for numerous acts of violence on the Israel frontier, the Western powers do not consider Israel’s retaliatory attack on Gaza justified.

American delegate Henry Cabot Lodge referred to the 1950 Tripartite Declaration by the United States, Britain and France and to a public statement made by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that should these three powers find that any of the Middle East states was preparing to violate frontiers or armistice lines, the “Big Three” would immediately take action both within and outside the United Nations to prevent such a violation.


Declaring that the U.S. Government stands fully behind that declaration, Ambassador Lodge emphasized that Secretary Dulles also said in his statement that Israel should become part of the Middle East community and cease to look upon itself, or be looked upon by others, as alien to this community. “To achieve this,” Ambassador Lodge stated, “would require concessions on both sides.”

It was because “the present unhappy situation in Palestine” must be viewed in its true perspective, Mr. Lodge observed, that he had referred at some length to the outlines of United States policy as set out almost two years ago by Secretary Dulles. During the two years since that statement, he stated, the United States, both inside and outside the United Nations, had sought consistently to follow these objectives and he felt that “much progress” had been made.

There had been good reason to believe, Mr. Lodge continued, that with the “significant progress” already made, the time was not too distant when the intermittent fighting on the borders of Israel and the Arab states would become a thing of the past, “The U.S., of course, was not satisfied as long as any disturbances occurred between Israel and her neighbors, but it had been encouraged and hopeful that patience, understanding and a real desire to put an end to hostility were beginning to prevail. Into this comparatively hopeful situation, the terrible event at Gaza broke rudely,” Mr. Lodge declared.


New incidents had occurred since the Gaza attack, Mr. Lodge continued. Most recently at Patish, innocent persons had suffered. He expressed “our great sympathy” to the bereaved families. “One can for the present conjecture to the immediate casual connection,” Mr. Lodge said, speaking of these incidents. He noted that General E.L.M. Burns. UN truce supervisor had pointed out in his report that infiltration from Egyptian-controlled territory, while not the only cause of tension prior to the Gaza incident had undoubtedly been one of its main causes. “But the Gaza incident has caused tension to mount on both sides, and is all the more to be deplored because deliberate,” he said.

The U.S. Government, said Ambassador Lodge, was aware that Israel contended that there had been causes for the attack and was also aware “that there have been provocations.” Such provocations, he felt, should not only always be regretted but should also be prevented by all responsible authorities. As a sponsor of the resolution before the Security Council, the United States believed that “whatever the provocation might have been in this case, there was no justification for the Israeli military action at Gaza,” Mr. Lodge declared.

Three times previously, he recalled, the Security Council had made the point clear that Israel’s retaliatory actions were inconsistent with its Charter obligations, he recalled. Now the Security Council was faced with the fourth incident and the United States believed it was “most serious because of its obvious premeditation.”


Sir Pierson Dixon, British delegate, also referred to the Egyptian attack on the Israel wedding party at the Patish settlement and called the incident an “outrage.” If proof were needed, he continued, that Egypt and Israel should make a further “and more determined” effort generally to improve conditions along this section of the demarcation line, and in particular to control infiltration, “we have it here,” he said. As to the Gaza incident, he said that in view of the evidence, the Security Council must agree that this was a deliberate and planned military operation. As such, it is viewed by my government with very grave concern indeed,” he added.

Henri Hoppenot, the French delegate, reviewed the information presented to the Council on the Gaza incident, and said that no proof had been adduced to back up the assertion of Israel that Egyptian forces had penetrated into Israel territory and attacked first. The Gaza action, he said, appeared to be a military action, deliberately planned and carried out by regular Israeli forces, “for purposes of intimidation and reprisal.”

Nothing cited by the representative of Israel, M. Hoppenot continued, could serve as “excuse or justification” for this action, which “deeply shocked the conscience of men of good will” and especially saddened those who admired the people of the young democracy. He hoped that Israel would recognize the full weight of the council’s resolution as “a last warning.”

Soviet delegate Arkadi Sobolev declared that the statements of Israel, Egypt and Gen. Burns had indicated that Israel was responsible for the Gaza attack and that therefore the Council had to take action to censure Israel. At the same time, he accused the Western Powers of heightening tension by their pressing for a system of regional alliances. This point brought him into sharp disagreement with the representatives of the U.S., Britain and Turkey.

The Council is scheduled to meet again tomorrow to consider action on the second resolution sponsored by the Big Three, calling for both parties to cooperate with Gen. Burns in reducing tension in the border zones. It is understood that Ambassador Abba Eban will meet tomorrow morning with the delegates of the U.S., France and Britain to attempt to get them to include several amendments in their resolution.

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