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U.N. Adjourns 2nd Israeli-syrian Meet As Damascus Stalls on Talks

January 30, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission held its second session today in response to United Nations Secretary-General U Thant’s appeal to settle differences threatening large-scale warfare between the two countries. The meeting was held at this kibbutz on the Israel side of the frontier, in northern Galilee.

Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, Chief of Staff of the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization, who was chairman of the session, adjourned the meeting when he learned that the Syrians had failed to bring specific proposals with them and did not care to reply to proposals put forward by the Israel delegation at the first session last Wednesday. Gen. Bull called for another meeting on Thursday, and urged the Syrians to bring practical proposals with them at that time.

At the start of today’s session. Gen. Bull deplored the laying of a mine inside Israel territory near the Syrian border, which was discovered on Friday. He blamed the Syrians for the incident by implication only, but he did not state specifically that the act was an infringement of the undertaking by both sides to keep the peace, agreed upon at the last session and issued as a United Nations communique.

Several times during today’s meeting Gen. Bull interrupted the senior Syrian delegate who had launched a long harangue disputing Israel’s right to be present in the demilitarized zones in their own territory near the border. The UNTSC Chief of Staff asked the Syrian not to raise matters not on the agenda.


This morning’s meeting had opened under a heavy cloud of pessimism brought about by last week’s new mine-laying incident, and the statement in Damascus by the Syrian Minister of Information, calling on the United Nations to force Israel out of the demilitarized zones in her own territory.

Israel had decided to attend the meeting in spite of serious reservations that her attendance might be interpreted as accepting the Syrian thesis that Damascus should not halt terrorist infiltration into Israel while the talks were under way. Israeli circles felt, however, that Israel might have to accept responsibility for breaking up the talks if she failed to attend. The Israeli view of the situation with regard to the ISMAC sessions is that, unless the Syrians come up with practical proposals, the meetings will be discontinued, since it will be shown that the Syrians are not interested in any reduction of tensions along the border.

Today’s meeting opened here at 10:30 this morning. A number of tents had been erected to house the Israeli and Syrian delegations as well as the United Nations Truce Observers and technical staff. The meeting compound had been surrounded by barbed wire, and special security precautions had been taken by the Israel Army and police. All traffic in the vicinity of the compound had been halted for one hour before the start of the meeting, to ensure the safety of the Syrian delegation.

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