Question of Palestine home
Department of Public Information
31 December 1953
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
Political and Security Questions
J. THE PALESTINE QUESTION
1. Communications and Reports Received
by the Security Council
The following communications were received by the Council:
(1) A letter dated 28 February 1953 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Syria (S/2456), communicating to the Secretary-General his Government's comments upon that section of the report of the Chief of Staff (S/2833) dealing with the work of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission.
(2) A letter dated 9 September 1953 from the acting representative of Israel (S/3093), to the President of the Council, protesting the alleged detention on 2 September by the Egyptian Authorities at Port Said of the S.S. Parnon, a Greek merchant vessel carrying cargo from Haifa en route, via the Suez Canal, to Elath in Israel, and thence to Mombasa.
(3) A letter dated 2 October 1953 from the permanent representative of Egypt (S/3101), alleging that on 28 September Israel armed forces had advanced beyond the demarcation line of the demilitarized zone of Al-Aula and had occupied a position in that area.
(4) A letter dated 15 October 1953 from the permanent representative of Syria (S/3107), alleging that Israel police had recently expelled eleven Palestinian Arabs from the Safad district and had placed them at the Syrian frontier.
(5) A letter dated 29 October 1953 from the permanent representative of Israel (S/3 129), enclosing a copy of a letter addressed by the managing director of the Palestine Electric Corporation to the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization on 9 October 1953 on the concessionary rights of the corporation, in the Banat Ya'Qub canal project.
(6) A letter dated 18 December 1953 from the permanent representative of Israel (S/3153), alleging that on 14 December the Egyptian Authorities at Port Said had intercepted an Italian vessel, the S.S. Franca Maria, bound from Massawa in Eritrea to Haifa in Israel.
(7) A letter dated 28 December 1953 from the permanent representatives of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria (S/3151), alleging that, on Friday 18 December, Captain Mansur Mouawad, a Lebanese physician in the service of the Army of the Jordan, had been murdered in the most brutal and barbaric manner by an Israel armed group.
The Council received the following reports from the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization:
(1) A report dated 8 May 1953 (S/3007) on a recent serious violation in Jerusalem and on the action which had been taken in that connexion.
(2) A report dated 14 May 1953 (S/3015) on the results of the inspection held in the demilitarized zone of Mount Scopus.
(3) A report dated 8 June 1953 (S/3030), informing the Council that conversations between Israel and Jordan delegates to the Mixed Armistice Commission had resulted in the conclusion, on the same date of an Israel-Jordan Local Commanders' Agreement with a view to suppressing illegal crossings of the demarcation line. The full text of that Agreement was included in the report.
(4) A report dated 19 June 1953 (S/3040), transmitting, for the Council's information, the text of a letter addressed to the Chief of Staff by the Acting Director of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the demilitarized area of Mount Scopus.
(5) A report dated 30 June 1953 (S/3047), informing the Council of an agreement made at a meeting on 29 June between the Senior Military Commanders of Israel and Jordan that both parties would take certain measures to curb infiltration.
2. Report of the United Nations Conciliation
Commission for Palestine
On 4 January 1954, the Conciliation Commission for Palestine submitted its thirteenth progress report (A/2629), covering the period from 28 November 1952 to 31 December 1953. In that report, the Commission stated that, since the General Assembly at its seventh session had not taken any new decisions bearing upon the Commission's work, the Commission considered that it was still guided by resolution 512(VI) adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 1952.
/ The Commission stated that, having failed to obtain results by the procedures at its disposal, and in view of the unchanged attitude of the parties, it had decided to continue for the present meeting at United Nations Headquarters where it would pursue its efforts to solve the questions of compensation for the Palestine refugees and the release of Arab refugee bank accounts blocked in IsraeL
The Commission recalled that, under the agreement reached between it and the Government of Israel for the complete release of Arab accounts blocked in Israel banks, the scheme for payment of the first instalment to Arab refugees had come into effect at the beginning of March 1953. The total number of applications filed before the deadline date of 31 August 1953 had reached approximately 3,200, of which some 1,590 had been approved for payment. It was estimated that, when all the applications had been processed, the total value of the payments approved would amount to approximately £750,000. The Commission considered that progress to date on the release of the blocked accounts had been reasonable. It was convinced that the final settlement of that question would remove a constant irritant in the relations between Israel and the Arab States. Consequently, it had decided to pursue with the Government of lsrael the question of obtaining the total release of all blocked accounts regardless of amount .
With regard to the identification and evaluation of Arab property, the report stated that an office established for that purpose was examining microfilms of the Palestine Land Registers and extracting information regarding ownership, area, description and value of the hundreds of thousands of parcels of land involved. The Commission felt that the work could not be completed exclusively on the basis of the microfilmed documents available in New York and that a sub-office must be set up in the area. It had therefore decided to establish such an office in Jerusalem.
The Commission stated that on 23 March 1953 it had received a memorandum from the permanent representatives to the United Nations of the Governments of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, alleging that the Government of Israel had recently undertaken the disposal of property in Israel belonging to Palestinian Arab refugees and that the proceeds from the transactions were being used to finance the settlement of new immigrants to Israel. On receipt of that memorandum, the Commission had sought and obtained from the Israel delegation the following information:
(1) the disposal of property had been authorized by the Government of Israel and effected in accordance with the provisions of the Absentees' Property Law 5710-1950;
(2) under the above law, that property had become vested in the Custodian of Absentees' Property and had been transferred to the Development Authority set up under the terms of the Development Authority Law, 5710-1950;
(3) funds realized in consideration for the property had been treated in accordance with the provisions of section 4 (d) of the Absentees' Property Law and the countervalue had been credited to the property for which it had been received; and
(4) the policy of the Government of Israel had been to ensure the integration of those refugees who had been legally authorized to enter Israel.
The report stated that, on 16 July 1953, the Secretary-General had received and transmitted to the Commission identical letters from the permanent representatives of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, protesting against the decisions of Israel to transfer its Ministry for Foreign Affairs to Jerusalem. In its reply to the Secretary-General, dated 2 September, the Commission recalled that in March 1949 it had addressed a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, pointing out that the transfer of Ministries of the Israel Government to Jerusalem would be incompatible with paragraph 8 of Assembly resolution 194(III) stating the Assembly's intention that Jerusalem should be placed under an international regime. The Commission still adhered to that position, it stated.
Finally, the report stated that the Commission had decided to send a liaison representative to Jerusalem early in January 1954. His task would be to carry out the Commission's instructions with regard to the questions of compensation and blocked accounts and to keep the Truce Supervision Organization and the Commission mutually informed with regard to those activities which each might consider of interest to the other.
3. The lncident of Qibya
a. COMPLAINT BEFORE THE SECURITY COUNCIL
By a letter of 16 October 1953 (S/3113), the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Jordan to the United States informed the President of the Security Council that on 14 October 1953 at 9:30 p.m. a battalion scale attack had been launched by Israel troops on the village of Qibya in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Israelis had entered the village and systematically murdered all occupants of houses, using automatic weapons, grenades and incendiaries. On 14 October, the bodies of 42 Arab civilians had been recovered; several more bodies had been still under the wreckage. Forty houses, the village school and a reservoir had been destroyed. Quantities of unused explosives, bearing Israel army markings in Hebrew, had been found in the village. At about 3 a.m., to cover their withdrawal, Israel support troops had begun shelling the neighbouring villages of Budrus and Shuqba from positions in Israel. The letter added that at an emergency meeting on 15 October, the Mixed Armistice Commission had condemned Israel, by a majority vote, for the attack by Israel's regular army on Qibya and Shuqba and for the shelling of Budrus by a supporting unit of the Israel attacking forces. The Commission had passed a resolution calling upon the Israel Government to take immediate and most urgent steps to prevent the recurrence of such aggressions. Finally, the letter stated, the Jordan Government had taken appropriate measures to meet the emergency. However, it felt that the criminal Israel aggression was so serious that it might start a war in Palestine. In conclusion, it called for immediate and effective action by the United Nations and especially by those nations party to the Tripartite Declaration of 25 May 1950.
In identical letters dated 17 October 1953, the representatives of France (S/3109), the United Kingdom (S/3110) and the United States (S/3111) requested the President of the Security Council to call an urgent meeting of the Council to consider, under "the Palestine question" the tension between Israel and the neighbouring Arab States, with particular reference to recent acts of violence and to compliance with and the enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements. These representatives considered that, in order to prevent a threat to the security of the area, the Security Council must give urgent consideration to the question and, in that connexion, hear the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine.
b. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
At its 626th meeting on 19 October 1953, the Security Council had before it a provisional agenda (S/Agenda/626) containing two items:
(1) adoption of the agenda; and
(2) the Palestine question (a) letter dated 17 October 1953 from the representatives of France, the United Kingdom and the United States addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/3109, S/3110, S/3111).
Opposing the provisional agenda as it stood, the representative of Lebanon contended that the Council could not treat the text of a letter as an agenda item but that it should adopt a particular topic. He recalled that the Palestine question had been on the agenda of the Council for almost two years in an inactive status and requested the representatives of France, the United Kingdom and the United States to explain to the Council the causes that had led them to reopen the question. Furthermore, he stated, the text of the three identical letters had referred to recent acts of violence and he was at a loss to understand why the representatives of the three Powers would not indicate their reasons for requesting an urgent meeting of the Council by referring particularly to recent acts of violence committed by the Israel army against Jordan. For his part, he formally proposed (S/Agenda/627/Rev.1/Add.1) that paragraph 2 of the provisional agenda should read "recent acts of violence committed by Israeli armed forces against Jordan".
At the 627th meeting on 20 October 1953, the Council, after further discussion, unanimously adopted, with minor changes, the wording proposed by Greece, as follows:
"The Palestine question: compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements, with special reference to recent acts of violence, and in particular to the incident at Qibya on 14-15 October: Report by the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization".
c. DISCUSSION IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL
The Security Council discussed the question at its 629th to 643rd meetings, from 19 October to 25 November. Following the adoption of the agenda, the representatives of France, the United Kingdom and the United States expressed the concern of their Governments at the reports of the various incidents which had occurred along the demarcation line between Israel and the neighbouring Arab States, culminating in the Qibya incident. Such incidents represented a grave threat to the peace and security of the area, and the situation should be considered by the Council, which should, however, first obtain accurate information concerning the facts from its representative, the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, Major General Vagn Bennike. The proposal that the Chief of Staff be invited to report to the Council was supported by the representative of Lebanon.
At the 630th meeting on 27 October, the Council invited Major General Bennike as well as the representative of Israel to take their places at the Council's table. At its 635th meeting on 9 November, a similar invitation was extended to the representative of Jordan.
(I) Report by the Chief of Staff of the Truce
Before introducing the Chief of Staff to the Council at the 630th meeting, the Secretary-General expressed his special concern regarding the outbreaks of violence and the recent incidents which had taken place in Palestine, thereby creating new tensions in the Middle East. Those incidents constituted serious violations of the General Armistice Agreements of 1949. He recalled that those Agreements had included firm pledges against any acts of hostility between the parties. He also expressed the hope that the parties concerned would give full consideration to their obligations under the Armistice Agreements and that they would refrain from any action contrary to those Agreements and prejudicing the attainment of permanent peace in Palestine. He concluded by making a strong appeal to the parties to refrain from spreading rumours and from provocative acts, and especially to avoid any premature actions which would jeopardize the Council's present endeavours.
The Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization read a report concerning the activities and decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commissions giving a detailed description of the situation along the armistice demarcation line between Israel and Jordan. However, before talking about the Qibya incident, he made extensive reference to previous incidents which, he believed, had also constituted grave violations of the ceasefire between Jordan and Israel.
Regarding the Qibya incident, he stated that, following the receipt of a Jordan complaint that a raid on the village of Qibya had been carried out by Israel military forces during the night of 14-15 October between 9:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., a United Nations investigation team had departed from Jerusalem for Qibya in the early morning of 15 October. On reaching the village, the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission had found that between 30 and 40 buildings had been completely demolished. By the time the Acting Chairman left Qibya, 27 bodies had been dug from the rubble. Witnesses had been uniform in describing their experience as a night of horror, during which Israel soldiers had moved about in their village blowing up buildings, firing into doorways and windows with automatic weapons and throwing hand grenades. A number of unexploded hand grenades, marked with Hebrew letters indicating recent Israel manufacture, and three bags of TNT had been found in and about the village. An emergency meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission had been held in the afternoon of 15 October and a resolution condemning the regular Israel army for its attack on Qibya, as a breach of article III, paragraph 2,
/ of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement, had been adopted by a majority vote. The Chief of Staff stated that he had discussed with the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission the reasons why he had supported the resolution condemning the Israel army for having carried out the attack, and that, after listening to his explanations, he had asked him to state them in writing; the technical arguments given by Commander Hutchison in his memorandum appeared to the Chief of Staff to be convincing.
The Chief of Staff then reviewed the history of the local commanders' agreement and its implementation. He observed that since 22 January 1953, when the agreement on measures to curb infiltration had been considered, the number of complaints reaching the Mixed Armistice Commission had steadily increased. Efforts, however, had been made to persuade the parties to revive local commanders' meetings which, from a practical viewpoint, had been more useful than formal meetings of the Mixed Armistice Commission. Despite the useful work done in local commanders' meetings, tension had not subsided; the situation was still dangerous and should be watched closely.
In commenting upon the Qibya incident, the Chief of Staff said that that incident, as well as others to which he had referred, could not be considered as isolated incidents, but as culminating points or high fever marks. They indicated that tension had increased to breaking point, either locally or generally between the two countries. He also said that a review of the incidents he had mentioned showed that each of them had been preceded by a period of growing tension.
The Chief of Staff then described the problems facing the other three Mixed Armistice Commissions. The main difficulties faced by the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission had, he said, arisen along the demarcation line of the "Gaza strip" and in connexion with the El-Auja demilitarized zone, and concerned, for the most part, infiltration into Israel for the theft of materials, cattle and crops from the Negeb settlements. The Egyptian authorities had taken measures to cope with this problem, but their task had been rendered particularly difficult by the presence of 200,000 Palestine refugees in the area.
The application of the Israel-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement, the Chief of Staff said, had given rise to relatively few and minor difficulties, due largely to the fact that the demarcation line coincided with the Lebanese-Palestinian international frontier. Cases of infiltration, almost all from Lebanon into Israel, were normally settled by the Sub-Committee on Border Incidents.
As regards the implementation of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria, the difficulties which had arisen were connected with the application of provisions relating to the demilitarized zone. Apart from the most recent difficulty, concerning the Israel canal project within the demilitarized zone, the other difficulties were those reported upon by the Chief of Staff during the past two years, namely, the economic situation of the Arabs in the demilitarized zone, the encroachments on Arab lands, the control exercised by the Israel police over the greater part of the zone, and Israel opposition to the fulfilment by the Chairman and United Nations Observers of their responsibility for ensuring the implementation of article V
/ of the General Armistice Agreement. Difficulties along the international border between Syria and Palestine, which existed primarily in connexion with the demilitarized zone, could, he considered, be largely solved if the provisions of article V of the General Armistice Agreement were applied in the light of the Acting Mediator's comment, accepted by both parties in 1949, regarding the restrictions imposed upon civilian activities and the total exclusion of military activities within the demilitarized zone.
The Chief of Staff declared that the current situation on the Israel-Jordan demarcation line was, to a large extent, due to the problem of infiltration. That problem was particularly difficult because that line was about 620 kilometers long and because it divided the former Mandated Territory of Palestine haphazardly, separating, for instance, many Arab villages from their lands. To solve that problem there were two methods available to the parties. The first was for both parties take measures against infiltration and to co-operate with each other by transmitting information. This could be done through the procedure of local commanders' meetings; its results might not be spectacular but it was effective to the extent actually possible. The second method was the resort to force. It reflected impatience with the slow results of peaceful means and a preference, instinctive or deliberate, for retaliation.
In conclusion, the Chief of Staff said that he was aware of the existence of problems other than those he had dealt with which increased the tension. There was in Israel an impatience with the General Armistice Agreements, due to the fact that they had not yet been replaced by final settlements. That impatience extended to the personnel of the Truce Supervision Organization, especially when it tried to exercise supervisory powers in the demilitarized zone. On the Arab side, the usual criticism was that the General Armistice Agreements had not given the Arabs security and that the Truce Supervision Organization was too weak to prevent what they considered to be Israel breaches of the Armistice Agreements. However, those opposite criticisms should not lead to the conclusion that the General Armistice Agreements should be discarded before they could be replaced by peace settlements. Those Agreements had lasted too long not to have lost part of their effectiveness. They still constituted, however, a barrier to breaches of the peace in the Middle East. The Chief of Staff concluded by stating that he had annexed to his report statistics which were based on the records of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission. At his suggestion, these were included as an annex to the verbatim record of the 630th meeting.
At the 632nd meeting held on 29 October 1953, the representatives of the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Greece, Lebanon and Israel asked the Chief of Staff certain questions concerning general conditions, implementation of the Armistice Agreements, the functioning and improvement of the supervision machinery operation and the efficacy of the local commanders' agreement, and the causes and effects of the tension along the demarcation line. They also asked for clarification of certain points in General Bennike's report. The answers of General Bennike were given at the 635th meeting on 9 November, and the Council decided to annex them to its official records. The majority of the questions had been submitted with a view to clarifying mainly the responsibility for the latest outbreak of violence in Palestine. The following is a summary of the main conclusions of the Chief of Staff.
In answer to a question by the representative of the United Kingdom about the alleged murder of a woman and her two children in the village Yahude, as a possible cause for the retaliatory raid on Qibya, the Chief of Staff replied that there had been no evidence to indicate who had committed the crime and that Jordan had given full co-operation in trying to trace those responsible for the attack.
Replying to another question, General Bennike expressed the belief that improved contacts between the police on either sides of the frontier would improve conditions along the border. Police officers were familiar with the local situation and could cooperate professionally with success. The Jordan authorities had for several years advocated that the settlement of day-to-day incidents along the demarcation line should be decentralized to local police officers all along the border. They also felt that when would-be criminals saw the police forces of the two countries acting in close co-operation they were constrained greatly to reduce their activities.
In reply to further questions concerning the operations of the observer corps, General Bennike replied that he had at present nineteen military Observers on his staff and that some of them were seeing as Chairmen of the Mixed Armistice Commissions. He added that only five Observers had been assigned to the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission. It was not uncommon for them to be called into quick action to obtain a ceasefire and in this they had been very effective on several occasions. With 620 kilometers of demarcation line between Israel and Jordan to cover, and the fact that 345 complaints had been handled so far that year, it was easy to see that the task of the Observers was not an easy one.
In answer to a question by the representative of France, General Bennike said that the operation of the Mixed Armistice Commissions would be improved if, instead of acting as lawyers defending a case in Court, delegates of the parties acted in conformity with the spirit and the letter of the Armistice Agreements. Another unsatisfactory aspect of the procedure was that voting in the Commissions was on the basis of draft resolutions presented by either side. While in some respects the Chairman's position might be compared to that of a judge, he was at a disadvantage in that he could not formulate the verdict by submitting a draft resolution of his own, since that would be tantamount to announcing his vote in advance. The Chief of Staff offered some suggestions with a view to improving the operation of the Commissions
In answer to a question by the representative of Greece concerning the advisability of strengthening the Observer corps in such a way as to permit it to play a preventive role, particularly at dangerous points along the frontier, General Bennike stated that the experience of the Truce Supervision Organization in its early years had tended to support the view that the presence of observers at certain points along the ceasefire line was helpful in preventing possible incidents. His intention was to station a small number of observers along both sides of the Israel-Jordan demarcation line and hoped that he could thus assist both parties in preventing incidents. But the extent to which this could be done would depend on the increased effectiveness of the local commanders' meetings and the co-operation extended to them by the authorities of both parties.
In answer to a question by the representative of Lebanon as to whether the life of the Chief of Staff or of any of his group had ever been threatened, General Bennike answered that he and the personnel of the Truce Supervision Organization were in Palestine by virtue of the Council's resolutions and that they must rely upon the governments concerned to take the necessary safety measures. He was satisfied that the governments concerned were aware of their responsibilities in that respect. He added that lately the Israel authorities had insisted that he should be accompanied by a police escort while in their territory and that, shortly afterwards, the Jordan authorities had requested his permission to patrol the grounds of his house at night, because of its proximity to the demarcation line. He said that he had given his concurrence in both cases but that he was not inclined to be influenced, either by rumours of threats or by any precautionary measures which the governments concerned might find it necessary, in their own interests, to take. In a further reply, General Bennike admitted that his organization had sometimes been prevented from performing its functions, citing various obstructions encountered from Israel civilians and over-zealous officers in the demilitarized zones.
In reply to questions by the representative of Israel concerning the types of arms used by raiders on the frontier, General Bennike said that the records of complaints and inquiries of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission since 1949 contained no evidence to show that border villages had ever been furnished with Bangalore torpedoes, 2-inch and 81 mm. mortars and demolition charges. Nor did the history of incidents show the necessity of border villages being furnished with such weapons. Moreover, the records showed that attacks against villages and persons in Israel took the pattern of raids carried out by small armed groups using hit-and-run tactics. For defence against that type of action, he could see the usefulness of machine guns, small automatic weapons and even hand grenades, but certainly not of mortars, Bangalore torpedoes and demolition charges. Furthermore, United Nations observers, who had visited many border villages, had never reported seeing weapons other than machine guns, grenades, rifles, automatic weapons such as Bren-gun, Sten-gun and Thompson sub-machine guns, and side arms. In answer to another question as to whether he had called the attention of the parties concerned to a paragraph in the Armistice Agreement calling for a peace settlement in Palestine, General Bennike said that he had not done so except in so far as any of those principles might have a bearing on the actual implementation of any Armistice Agreement in a concrete case.
Finally, in answer to questions submitted by the representative of Jordan, General Bennike said that, in the light of events since the beginning of the year, attacks by regular forces of Israel on Jordan territory were becoming more frequent and had had more serious results so far as loss of life was concerned.
(2) Statements by Israel and Jordan
At the 637th meeting on 12 November 1953, the representative of Israel reviewed the history of the Armistice Agreements and their operation. He described in detail Israel's security problems, stating that Israel was within easy reach of its hostile neighbours, that the Arabs refused to live at peace with Israel and that they refused to comply with the calls of the Security Council to negotiate final peace settlements. He added that the political hatred on Israel's frontiers was reinforced by a violent economic war.
He then gave a detailed historical background of the tension along the armistice lines, particularly along the Israel-Jordan frontier until the Qibya incident. He expressed his Government's profound and unreserved regret for the loss of innocent life at Qibya, stating that it was an unfortunate explosion of pent-up feeling and a tragic breakdown of restraint. However, he said, the circumstances of the incidents were precisely those outlined in Mr. Ben-Gurion's statement of 19 October 1953. The representative of Israel dealt extensively with the problem of infiltration and marauding and described Israel's efforts to secure a transition from the armistice stage to a permanent peace, offering Israel's ideas as to the prospect of a final solution.
He said, further, that his Government had repeatedly declared its desire to find a solution to the deteriorating security situation along the Israel-Jordan border, and for that purpose had expressed willingness on several occasions to enter into discussions with representatives of the Jordan Government. Existing channels of contact and procedure, he said, had not proved effective or sufficient in the increasingly complex situation. Consequently, his Government proposed that senior political and military representatives of Israel and Jordan should meet at United Nations Headquarters without delay to discuss armistice problems, and especially the prevention of border incidents and the co-operation of the respective authorities in maintaining border security.
In conclusion, he stated that the Council should take the following measures:
(1) The tension should be diagnosed truthfully as a threat to security arising from the absence of peaceful relations between Israel and the Arab States. To that primary cause, the Council should justly ascribe the whole sequence of violence which had come to its notice and should remind the parties of their duty under the Charter to harmonize their efforts for the establishment of peace.
(2) Attention should be drawn to the fact that the main objective of the Armistice Agreements, mainly the transition to permanent peace, had nor been achieved and that this had a clear priority and urgency over all other subsidiary provisions of the Agreements, which, however, should still be maintained.
(3) Attention should be drawn to the fact that the Security Council's own past resolutions on peace and security, including especially the resolution on blockade and belligerency, adopted on 1 September 1951,
/ had not been implemented. The Council should also refer to the absence of any effort to implement article VIII
/ of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement, notwithstanding the text of that Agreement itself, and of the Council's injunction of 17 November 1950.
(4) The Council could take note of the only conclusion agreed to by Israel and the Arab countries, and indicated very dearly in General Bennike's report, that the most specific source of current tension was marauding and infiltration into Israel territory, especially from Jordan. The Council, he urged, should express special concern about infiltration which was the source of the original bloodshed and of reactions which had sometimes gone beyond all proper limits. But it should also urge special attention to article IV (3), requiring the restraint of illegal border crossings.
(5) The Chief of Staff and the Chairmen of the Mixed Armistice Commissions should be asked to pay special attention to those provisions of the Agreements and the Council's decisions which had not yet been implemented, particularly the provisions for a transition to permanent peace.
(6) The signatories of each Armistice Agreement should be called upon to enter into direct negotiations with a view to the replacement of the Armistice Agreements by final peace settlements.
At the 638th meeting on 16 November 1953, the representative of Jordan made a statement commenting briefly on the statement by the representative of Israel. He said that there was a difference between individual Jordanian infiltration and the alleged aggression carried out by Israel organized military forces against Jordan and reviewed briefly the efforts of his Government to prevent infiltration by adopting extraordinary and emergency measures. As for the Israel proposal concerning the meeting at United Nations Headquarters between senior political and military representatives of Israel and Jordan to discuss armistice problems, he explained that his delegation had been empowered to express its Government's views on the Qibya massacre and possessed no credentials to enter into any other discussions. Moreover, it seemed to him that if Israel had some proposals to submit to Jordan, the proper channel would be through the Chief of Staff. In the event of agreement, the most suitable plans for such discussions would likely be Jerusalem because of its proximity and facilities for communications with the two Governments.
In conclusion, he requested that:
(l) Israel be condemned for the Qibya massacre in the strongest of terms which should match the atrocity and horror of that action of Israel armed forces;
(2) Israel be asked to proceed with the trial and punishment of all Israel officials, be they military or civilians, responsible for that horrible crime;
(3) Israel be asked to prevent the repetition of any kind of aggression by its military forces or other armed forces against Jordan;
(4) no military aid or financial assistance be granted to Israel without specific guarantees that such help would not contribute to further aggression by Israel; and
(5) all other possible measures be taken without delay to check Israel aggressive and expansionist policy.
At the 642nd meeting on 24 November 1953, the representative of Israel informed the Council that on 23 November he had addressed a letter to the Secretary-General (S/3140), stating that since his proposal for a meeting between senior political and military Jordan and Israel representatives had not been accepted by the representative of Jordan, he formally invoked article XII of the Jordan-Israel General Armistice Agreement, requesting the Secretary-General to convoke a conference of representatives of the two parties to review that Agreement as envisaged in paragraph 3 of that article. He also noted that article XII made it obligatory for the parties to participate in such a conference. He explained that his Government had taken that action because of its growing concern for the future of peace and security in the area. The representative of Israel also commented on the draft resolution before the Council (see below).
(3) Views Expressed to the Council
At its 640th meeting, France, the United Kingdom and the United States submitted a draft resolution, which, in its final revision (S/3139/Rev.2 ), would, among other things, have the Council:
(1) recall its previous resolutions on the Palestine question, in particular those of 15 July 1948, 11 August 1949 and 18 May 1951 concerning the maintenance of the armistice and the settlement of disputes through the Mixed Armistice Commissions;
(2) note the reports of 27 October and 9 November of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization and the statements of Israel and Jordan;
(3) find that the retaliatory action at QibYa taken by Israel armed forces and all such actions violated the Council resolution of 15 July 1948 and were inconsistent with the parties' obligations under the Armistice Agreement and with the Charter;
(4) express the strongest censure of that action calling upon Israel to prevent future recurrence of such actions;
(5) note that there was substantial evidence of infiltration and request the Government of Jordan to strengthen measures to prevent this;
(6) call upon the Governments of Jordan and Israel to ensure the effective Co-operation of local security forces;
(7) reaffirm that it was essential in order to settle the outstanding issues peacefully for the parties to abide by their obligations under the Armistice Agreement and the resolutions of the Security Council;
(8) emphasize the obligations of Jordan and Israel to co-operate with the Chief of Staff;
(9) request the Secretary-General to consider with the Chief of Staff ways of strengthening the Truce Supervision Organization and to furnish necessary additional personnel to the Chief of Staff; and
(10) request the Chief of Staff to report to the Council within three months on compliance with the Armistice Agreements with particular reference to this resolution, and taking into account any agreement reached in pursuance of the request by the Government of Israel for the convocation of a conference under article XII of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan.
During the discussion, the representatives of these three countries concurred in the view that the testimony of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization had proved that responsibility for the incident at Qibya lay on Israel whose military forces had been proved to be implicated in the raid. The action, it was stated, was a flagrant violation of the cease-fire resolution of the Security Council of 15 July 1948 and of the Jordan-Israel General Armistice Agreement. Their Governments, therefore, strongly condemned the action which had threatened the peace and security of the whole area.
Elaborating on the question, the representative of the United Kingdom referred to a statement by the Israel Prime Minister of 19 October, in which he had denied the allegation that 600 Israel troops had taken part in the action and that no unit had been absent from its base on the night of the attack on Qibya. The representative of the United Kingdom felt that the statement did not preclude the conclusion that Israel forces were responsible for the raid. Whether the attack had been made by the militia or by regular forces of Israel was beside the point. The apparent unwillingness of Israel to punish those responsible could only encourage a recurrence of such incidents which would cause further retaliation.
Dealing with the allegation that the Qibya raid had been due to provocation by infiltrators, the representative of the United Kingdom said that no one denied the existence of border infiltrators, nor that they involved the loss of life and property in Israel. Although Israel was justified in taking measures to check infiltration, it must be borne in mind that not all crossings were with criminal intent. A reprisal raid such as the one in Qibya would only cause an increase in the number of persons crossing into Israel to avenge themselves by taking life for life. Thus, more and more incidents would occur, the Armistice Agreements would be tom to shreds and general hostilities would follow.
The only way to control that vicious circle, the United Kingdom representative said, was by local co-operation between the police and defence forces of the two countries. For that reason, the United Kingdom Government had always favoured the existence and operation of local commanders' agreements, and had used its good offices to have them restored whenever they had been broken off. Finally, since the personnel of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization was responsible for the peace of the area, his Government considered it of the highest importance that the parties to the Armistice Agreement should respect the officers of that organization and give them full facilities in the performance of their duties. Combined with the proper observance of the local commanders' agreements, that freedom of investigation might considerably improve the general atmosphere. In conclusion, the representative of the United Kingdom said that if Israel was to preserve the sympathy of its friends throughout the world, then it would certainly be well advised not to try to show that the Qibya incident had been justified and, indeed, the logical conclusion of a chain of events.
Formally introducing the draft resolution, the representative of the United States explained in some detail its various paragraphs. He pointed out that the joint draft recognized that the incident at Qibya was one among many which were prejudicial to the establishment of peace in the area, that it took note of the fact that violence was a common result of failure to maintain the security of the demarcation lines and that it expressed the views of the three sponsoring Governments that it was only by the strictest adherence to the obligations of the parties under the General Armistice Agreement and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly that progress towards settlement of the outstanding issues between the parties could be made.
In conclusion, he said that the United States realized that there were grave and difficult problems which even the strictest compliance with the Armistice Agreements might not necessarily solve. His Government was, however, deeply concerned with those problems and sincerely desired to help in solving them. The established machinery for the maintenance of security in the area must be upheld and strengthened if those fundamental problems were to be solved in a spirit of justice and good will. While adherence to the Armistice Agreement alone would not bring peace, it was impossible to achieve it without that adherence. The representatives of France and the United Kingdom concurred in these views.
At the 637th meeting, the representative of Lebanon quoted several excerpts from the answers given by the Chief of Staff to the representative of Israel, to show Jordan's record of co-operation with Israel in the Mixed Armistice Commission. He said that the following findings were fully justified by the facts cited in documents submitted by the agent of the United Nations in Palestine:
(1) Israel military forces had planned and carried out an aback on Qibya in Jordan, on 14 to 15 October 1953;
(2) the attack constituted an act of aggression against Jordan;
(3) that act of aggression was not an isolated incident but the culmination of a planned and calculated policy of violation of the General Armistice Agreements carried out by the Israel armed forces;
(4) that policy and that act of aggression had disturbed the peace in the Near East;
(5) unless that policy was curbed and that act of aggression was properly punished, the maintenance of international peace and security in the Near East was likely to be endangered; and
(6) the recurrence of such an aggression by Israel would certainly lead to a breach of the peace in the Near East.
He suggested that the Council should request Israel to:
(1) take all the necessary measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of that act;
(2) make a general request that no military or economic assistance be given to Israel without proper guarantees that it would refrain from such acts;' and
(3) make it dear to Israel that any repetition of such acts would lead the Council to consider the appropriate measures to be taken under Chapter VII of the Charter.
Later, at the 643rd meeting on 25 November, in explaining his vote on the draft resolution, the representative of Lebanon requested that a systematic treatise which he had prepared on "the system of Qibya" be annexed to the proceedings. He said that an honest examination of the fourteen propositions found therein would reveal that the condemnation of Israel by the Council had been very mild and that a much stronger condemnation was fully justifiable. As for the larger question of peace in the Middle East he made six observations:
(1) The representative of Israel had spoken of invoking article Xll of the Jordan-lsrael Armistice Agreement allegedly to review the relations between the two countries. Such a review would however reveal the fact that the Armistice Agreements had been systematically flouted by Israel.
(2) The representative of Israel had said derisively that the notions that the Arab States had a "sovereign right to maintain the Armistice Agreement in perpetuity" and a sovereign right never to talk to Israel were both false. But the Arabs could not be forced to change the Armistice Agreements nor to talk to Israel.
(3) The representative of Israel had threatened that the adoption of the three-Power resolution would be prejudicial to peace and would affect adversely the entire atmosphere and effort of peace. The truth was the exact opposite.
(4) Israel's demand for a negotiated peace settlement was possible only if: (a) Israel scrupulously respected the Armistice Agreements; (b) implemented the standing decisions of the United Nations regarding boundaries, the internationalization of Jerusalem and the Arab refugees; and (c) the Arabs were strengthened so that they would not feel themselves at the mercy of Israel.
(5) So long as Israel's policy and outlook were marked by ambition and arrogance the situation would be governed by three irreducible facts: (a) the Arabs did not trespass on anybody's territory-the Jews had come and taken away a piece of Arab territory and had driven away the original Arab inhabitants of that territory; (b) Israel needed the Arabs, whereas the Arabs did not need Israel, (c) Israel, because it was now strong, could fume and threaten but the Arabs would nor remain eternally weak.
(6) Peace was the fruit of justice, firmness and truth with respect both to Israel and to the Arabs.
The Lebanese representative criticized the resolution for failing to:
(1) request Israel to bring to justice those responsible for the Qibya massacre;
(2) request Israel to pay compensation for the loss of life and damage to property caused by that aggression;
(3) contain a warning to Israel that, if such attacks were repeated in the future, the Council would have to deal with the matter under Chapter Vll of the Charter;
(4) refer to compliance with the General Assembly resolutions on Palestine as a condition for the peaceful and lasting settlement of the issues outstanding between the parties; and
(5) emphasize that it was only the Government of Israel which was not co-operating fully with the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization.
On the other hand, the resolution, he said, had the following decided merits:
(1) It condemned the Qibya incident as a violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948, of the Armistice Agreement and of the Charter.
(2) It called only upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future, thereby showing that only Israel was able and willing to repeat such an action.
(3) It recognized that the Government of Jordan had already taken measures to prevent the border crossings.
(4) It adopted the thesis of Jordan and General Bennike on the usefulness of the co operation of local security forces to curb infiltration.
(5) It emphasized that respect for and compliance with the General Armistice Agreement was the only condition towards a lasting peaceful settlement of the issues outstanding between the patties.
(6) It provided for the strengthening of the Truce Supervision Organization.
In view of the merits of the resolution he had not voted against it.
The representative of Israel, speaking at the 642nd meeting, analysed the joint draft resolution, stating that by omitting a direct call for a peace negotiation the sponsors had yielded to the lack of will on the part of the Arab States to hear the concept of peace frankly proclaimed.
He said that there was no radical method of improving the situation in the Middle East except by direct contact and negotiation. He criticized the joint draft resolution as being inaccurate in certain respects, notably in its finding on the Qibya raid, and selective in other respects, notably in the omission of any special reference in its preamble to chose resolutions which placed obligations upon the Arab Governments. The draft resolution, he said, dealt disproportionately with the admittedly regrettable incident at Qibya, putting it above other cases, many of which, unlike Qibya, had been of a uniformly aggressive character and had taken a far greater toll of life. Israel most severely objected to what was almost an acceptance and a condonation of existing Jordan policies in respect of infiltrations or incursions which were the source of Israel's current security problems. Finally, his Government believed it a great error for the Council to abandon its invariable policy of calling upon the Governments concerned to negotiate a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them.
The representative of Pakistan made a detailed statement in which he analysed the statement of the representative of Israel. He reviewed briefly the history of the Palestine question, describing the alleged responsibility of those who had been originally responsible for bringing about the current state of affairs in Palestine, as well as the alleged responsibility of both sides concerning he incidents. He then dealt with the Qibya incident, quoting extensively from the reports of the Chief of Staff to prove that Israel did not wish to cooperate in the maintenance of the Armistice Agreements and that the raid against Qibya had been carried out by the regular army of Israel. As for the joint draft resolution, he found the paragraph censuring Israel wholly inadequate, since it described the raid on Qibya as a retaliatory act. He asked what had been the cause of such retaliation. Moreover, he found no provision in the joint draft regarding compensation to those who had lost their lives or had been wounded at Qibya.
Later, in explaining his vote, he said that his delegation had voted for the resolution since its first objection had been met by the firm conclusion that the Qibya aggression had been undertaken by the Israel army, presumably in pursuance of general directions based upon policy or a particular direction received from the Government of Israel His delegation had been confirmed in that conclusion by a complete absence of any explanation by the representative of Israel as to who, as the result of its investigations, had carried out that expedition. His delegation had refrained from presenting any amendments, first, in the interest of expedition, and, secondly, because it had felt that the majority of the Council had not been ready to entertain any amendments.
The representatives of Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark and Greece also made statements at the Council's 643rd meeting on 25 November, explaining their votes in favour of the joint draft resolution.
These representatives deplored the Qibya incident, which, it was stated, was the worst of a series of incidents and, as had been shown by the reports of the Chief of Staff, constituted a gross violation of the Armistice Agreement. The terms of the resolution, these representatives held, were fully justified. The three Powers had tried to be impartial and fair, as was shown, the representative of Greece stated, by their adding to the second revision of their text a paragraph concerning Israel's proposal regarding the implementation of article XII of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement The representative of Denmark pointed out that the resolution, while referring to Qibya, declared that all such actions constituted a violation of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948, as well as the General Armistice Agreement. He expressed the hope that the additional personnel to be placed at the disposal of the Chief of Staff would be sufficient to be effective. All these representatives expressed the hope for the earliest possible permanent settlement of the problems dividing Israel and the Arab States.
d. RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL
The joint draft resolution of France, the United Kingdom and the United States (S/3139/ReV.2) was adopted by the Council, at its 642nd meeting on 24 November 1953, by 9 votes to none, with 2 abstentions (Lebanon and the USSR). It read as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions on the Palestine question, particularly those of 15 July 1948, 11 August 1949, and 18 May 1951 concerning methods for maintaining the armistice and resolving disputes through the Mixed Armistice Commissions,
"Noting the reports of 27 October 1953 and 9 November 1953 to the Security Council by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and the statements to the Security Council by the representatives of Jordan and Israel,
"Finds that the retaliatory action at Qibya taken by armed forces of Israel on 14-15 October 1953 and all such actions constitute a violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Security Council resolution of 15 July 1948 and are inconsistent with the Parties' obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the Charter;
"Expresses the strongest censure of that action which can only prejudice the chances of that peaceful settlement which both Parties in accordance with the Charter are bound to seek, and calls upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future;
"Takes note of the fact that there is substantial evidence of crossing of the demarcation line by unauthorized persons often resulting in acts of violence and requests the Government of Jordan to continue and strengthen the measures which they are already taking to prevent such crossings;
"Recalls to the Governments of Israel and Jordan their obligations under Security Council resolutions and the General Armistice Agreement to prevent all acts of violence on either side of the demarcation line;
"Calls upon the Governments of Israel and Jordan to ensure the effective co-operation of local security forces;
"Reaffirms that it is essential in order to achieve progress by peaceful means toward a lasting settlement of the issues outstanding between them that the Parties abide by their obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the resolutions of the Security Council;
"Emphasize, the obligation of the Governments of Israel and Jordan to co-operate fully with the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization;
"Requests the Secretary-General to consider with the Chief of Staff the best ways of strengthening the Truce Supervision Organization and to furnish such additional personnel and assistance as the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization may require for the performance of his duties;
"Requests the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to report within three months to the security Council with such recommendations as he may consider appropriate on compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements with particular reference to the provisions of this resolution, and taking into account any agreement reached in pursuance of the request by the Government of Israel for the convocation of a conference under article Xll of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan."
4. Complaint by Syria against Israel Concerning Work
on the West Bank of the River Jordan in the
In a letter dated 12 October 1953 (S/3106), the permanent representative of Syria to the United Nations informed the Secretary-General that on 2 September 1953 the Israel authorities had started works to change the beds of the river Jordan in the central sector of the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel in order to make it flow through Israel-controlled territory. Moreover, partial mobilization had been carried out behind the central sector of that zone. The Israel authorities, the letter said, had thus violated the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement, particularly article V of that Agreement under which no military force might be stationed in the zone. That zone, it was stated, was not subject to the authority of either of the parties but was the responsibility of local authorities under the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission. Consequently, the Israel authorities were not entitled to undertake any works in any sectors of the demilitarized zone. It was further alleged that the effect of the works was to deprive the riparian inhabitants along the Jordan of the water they needed to irrigate their land. Article V of the General Armistice Agreement explicitly provided for the exercise of normal activities by the population of the demilitarized zone. The rights of Syrian riparian landowners to the waters of the Jordan, which separated Syria from Palestine, were of long standing and had never been disputed. Furthermore, article II of the General Armistice Agreement provided that neither of the parties should gain any military advantage; by attempting to change the course of the Jordan, the Israel authorities had gained a military advantage in contravention of this article. Thus, the Israel authorities had violated the provisions of the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement by:
(1) infringing the rights of the inhabitants of the demilitarized zone;
(2) preventing the Syrian riparian population from irrigating their land with water from the Jordan; and
(3) militarily occupying a sector of the demilitarized zone.
The letter finally recalled that the Syrian Government had brought the above facts to the attention of General Vagn Bennike, Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization for Palestine. As Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission, General Bennike had requested the Israel authorities to stop the operations begun in the demilitarized zone. Despite the explicit terms of that request, the Israel authorities had refused to comply with it. Such an attitude was both arbitrary and illegal and constituted a proof that the Israel authorities did not mean to respect the Armistice Agreement which they had signed on 20 July 1949.
In another letter, dated 16 October 1953 (S/3108/Rev.1), the permanent representative of Syria addressed a similar complaint to the President of the Security Council, requesting him to convene a meeting of the Council so that that question might be placed on its agenda and a prompt decision be taken.
On 23 October 1953, the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization submitted a report (S/3122) containing the text of a decision he had taken on 23 September 1953, to the effect that the authority which had started work in the demilitarized zone on 2 September 1953 was instructed to cease working in the zone so long as an agreement was not arranged. The report also contained a letter dated 24 September from the Israel Foreign Minister and the comments made thereupon by the Chief of Staff.
b. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION OF 27 OCTOBER
In 1953, the Security Council considered the question at its 629th to 654th meetings, between 77 October and 29 December.
At the 629th meeting on 27 October, the representatives of Syria and Israel were invited to the Council's table. At the outset of that meeting, the representative of Pakistan stated that, before the Council proceeded to hear the parties upon the merits of the case, it would be wise to endorse the request made by the Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission on 23 September 1953 that the works might be suspended pending the consideration of the case by the Security Council. He then submitted a draft resolution (S/3125/Rev.l), by which the Council would,
request the State of Israel that the authority which had started work in the demilitarized zone on 2 September 1953 be instructed to cease working in the zone pending the consideration of the question by the Security Council.
At the 631st meeting on 27 October, the representative of Israel informed the Council that he was empowered to state that his Government was willing to arrange such a temporary suspension of the works in the demilitarized zone for the purpose of facilitating the Council's consideration of the question, without prejudice to the merits of the case itself.
The representative of France declared that the statement of the representative of Israel appeared to have made the Pakistan draft resolution unnecessary. He felt that the Council should take note, in the form of a resolution, of the undertaking given by the Israel delegation, express its satisfaction with it and also request the Truce Supervision Organization to supervise its implementation during the Council's deliberations. He then submitted his suggestion in the form of a draft resolution (S/3128), which was unanimously adopted, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Having taken note of the report of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization dated 23 October 1953 (S/3122),
"Desirous of facilitating the consideration of the question, without however prejudicing the rights, claims or position of the parties concerned,
"Deems it desirable to that end that the works started in the Demilitarized Zone on 2 September 1953 should be suspended during the urgent examination of the question by the Security Council,
"Notes with satisfaction the statement made by the Israel representative at the 631st meeting regarding the undertaking given by his Government to suspend the works in question during that examination,
"Requests the Chief of Staff Of the Truce Supervision Organization to inform it regarding the fulfilment of that undertaking."
At the 633rd meeting on 30 October, the President informed the Council of the receipt of a letter from the Chief of Staff, pursuant to the Council's request of 27 October, informing it that the works on the project had stopped on 28 October at midnight. He added that some water was presently leaking into the Canal and that divers were attempting to plug the leaks in the concrete dam.
C. STATEMENTS BEFORE THE COUNCIL
At the 633rd meeting, the representative of Syria made a detailed statement explaining the reasons his Government had requested the inclusion of the item in the agenda. He outlined the history of the development of the dispute, considered the nature of the Armistice Agreement, particularly article V, recalled the history of the demilitarized zone and described the military advantages to Israel accruing from the project. He stated that the object of the works was to divert the Jordan River, which was an essential element of civilian life in the demilitarized zone, into Israel-controlled territory, making it a military factor within Israel's borders. The works were being carried out in defiance of the Armistice Agreement and the decision of General Bennike and they showed a policy by Israel of defying United Nations machinery and disregarding the Armistice Agreements.
He declared that the Security Council should ask Israel to refrain from prejudicing the rights, claims or positions of the other side which had been safeguarded by the Armistice Agreements. He asked that the status quo should be restored in the demilitarized zone. The representative of Syria suggested that, in order to strengthen the machinery for the implementation of the Armistice Agreement, the Council should uphold the local international authority by practical and unambiguous decisions and build up that machinery by providing additional personnel.
The representative of Israel, in a preliminary statement, gave a brief history of the dispute and said that the Security Council had already rejected the notion of a Syrian veto over legitimate development projects of Israel in its decision in the case of the Huleh Marshes in 1951. He also dealt with the alleged military aspect of the dispute and said that the hydro-electric project involving the construction of the Jordan Canal was a legitimate civilian project and of vital economic importance for Israe. The canal, when completed, could easily be integrated either into national or regional water projects conducive to the general welfare of the region. He said that the Jordan waters which were the subject of the present dispute did not pass through Syria at a single point and therefore the Syrian complaint was completely unfounded. As a matter of general equity, Syria, which could not itself use the water, should not be encouraged to deny its use to Israel, for which the Jordan was the only source of water.
Further, the representative of Israel contended, the powers of the Chief of Staff in the matter, defined in General Bennike's letter of 20 October, related to the protection of land and water interests in the demilitarized zone and the fulfilment of the role of the zone under the Armistice Agreement. That letter clearly stated that those were the only issues which would determine whether Israel had the right to continue the project. The representative of Israel said that the project did not affect land or water rights, since the Government of Israel had prohibited land encroachments, however slight, and had taken care that sufficient water was available for all existing irrigation needs. The Government of Israel was prepared to give an undertaking to that effect and to discuss procedures whereby such an undertaking could be statutorily invoked, even in an area where Israel had no legal duty to make such provisions. As regards the question of military advantage, the Government of Israel adhered to the terms of the Armistice Agreement, according to which the consideration of military advantage was relevant only to the truce, which had now been replaced by the armistice. Moreover, the practical effect of the new canal would be to make the aggressive movement of armed forces in either direction through the demilitarized zone more difficult than it was at present, and the maintenance of the exact topography of the zone was not something which either party was entitled to invoke.
At the 636th meeting on 10 November 1953, the Council invited Major General Vagn Bennike, Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization for Palestine, to take part in the Council's deliberations.
At the same meeting, the representative of Syria made a detailed statement in answer to the statement of the representative of Israel. He pointed out the differences between the situation regarding the Huleh marshes and the present case.
He stated that Israel's action to divert the Jordan River from its bed without any prior arrangement based on the consent of both sides to the Armistice Agreement was an unwarranted unilateral action and a
, which had grave military and other consequences and was a breach of the armistice. Israel. instead of interpreting the Armistice Agreement in terms of article 7 or seeking to have it modified under article 8, chose to interpret or modify the Agreement unilaterally whenever it did not suit its purposes. Moreover, the project was not the only one that Israel or others could undertake in order to utilize the Jordan waters. In fact, the execution of that project would thwart other projects such as the TVA-Jordan project. All such projects should be kept as tentative plans until suitable international arrangements could be made with the consent of the authorities legitimately concerned. Syria's opposition was not to projects, as such, but to unilateral actions unjustly affecting all other projects. The representative of Syria urged that the Armistice Agreement must be fully and unhesitatingly implemented so as to close the door to arrogant unilateral actions and
and to contribute to confidence in international arrangements and in the authority of international institutions and law. That confidence was an essential prerequisite for dealing with Near Eastern issues. The Council's decisions should be aimed not at changing, but at implementing, the Agreement until other arrangements were arrived at by the mutual and free consent of the two parties to that Agreement.
The representative of Lebanon stated that, from the report of the Chief of Staff as well as from the various statements made to the Council, the following seven facts were established beyond any doubt:
(1) large scale work had been started unilaterally by one party in the demilitarized zone created by the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Agreement without the agreement of or consultation with the other party;
(2) the work had been started and continued without a prior authorization from the Chief of Staff, who was responsible for the implementation of article V of the Armistice Agreement relating to the zone;
(3) although the project affected the water, lands and properties of the inhabitants of the zone, no previous arrangement had been made with the inhabitants regarding their rights and properties;
(4) the work would bring about substantial modifications in the geophysical features of the zone;
(5) the work had military consequences which were all, according to the Chief of Staff, who was the only objective and neutral authority on the question, to the advantage of one party to the Agreement;
(6) the work would result in a definite integration of the zone into the economic and hydro-electric system of one of the two parties, an integration not stipulated in the Armistice Agreement and not permitted by it; and
(7) the work would produce a total change in the flow of the waters of an international river, the Jordan River.
These facts, the representative of Lebanon argued, constituted a violation of both the letter and the spirit of the Armistice Agreement and, whichever was the party responsible for this violation, it should not be allowed to resume the work until it had reached an understanding with the other party.
The canal project, he said, went beyond the Huleh case, as pointed out by the Chief of Staff, in that it involved not only the supervision of the gradual restoration of normal civilian life in the demilitarized zone, but prejudiced the ultimate settlement, in contravention of the Armistice Agreement. It also raised the problem of the military objective of creating and maintaining the demilitarized zone, thereby amounting to a unilateral alteration of some clauses of the Agreement. Moreover, he added, the Council's decision in the Huleh case had proved ineffective. The decision, which, among other things, had called for the return of Arab civilians removed by Israel from the demilitarized zone and for the withdrawal of Israeli police units from the zone, had not been faithfully implemented by Israel.
Regarding the legal status of the demilitarized zone, the representative of Lebanon stated that, regardless of the Israel or Syrian claims to sovereignty, the interpretation given by United Nations officials and the Security Council was that, until final settlement was reached, no State was sovereign in the zone. The Israel project established a de facto situation which prejudiced the question of sovereignty in its favour to the disadvantage of other States.
As regards the contention that the whole economic life of a State was involved in the Canal project, he stated that the question involved was one of principle, involving the whole status of the demilitarized zone and, even more, the question of respect for international obligations.
The representative of Pakistan requested that the Chief of Staff or Secretariat might answer the following questions:
(1) How the frontier of Israel as visualized in the General Assembly resolution of 1947 ran through the demilitarized zone?
(2) What were the existing and past uses in respect of irrigation or other advantages enjoyed by Syrian nationals within Syrian territory from the disputed stretch of the river?
(3) What was the area of the Buteiha Farm which received irrigation from the Jordan and whether there were other lands that derived advantage from the river?
(4) Would it be possible at a later stage to convert the work into an irrigation project?
(5) If so, what was the maximum quantity of water that might at any time be withdrawn from the river for that use? Would the volume of water or the volume of salinity of Lake Tiberias be affected?
(6) How would the advantages derived by the Kingdom of Jordan be affected?
The President suggested that in view of the technical nature of these questions, General Bennike or experts conducting a study on the spot might answer them. The latter course, he said, might possibly be proposed by a member of the Council. As to the final point, the President believed that it would be up to General Bennike to decide whether to supply additional comments.
At the 645th meeting of the Council on 3 December 1953, the Chief of Staff replied to some of the questions submitted by the representative of Pakistan. He explained that the water from the stretch of the River Jordan which would be affected by the completion of the projected canal was being used for irrigating lands, watering cattle and operating mills within the boundaries of Syria. The lands under irrigation and the water mills in operationseven altogetherwere in the area of Buteiha Farm. He further stated that he had been informed that the area in that farm at present under irrigation was 18,280 dunams, or approximately 4,570 acres; the area under irrigation was only a small part of the total area of Buteiha Farm. He was not in a position to state the extent to which the area not at present irrigated was capable of receiving irrigation. To his knowledge, the irrigated lands of Buteiha Farm were the only lands in Syria which received irrigation from the stretch of the River Jordan in question. With regard to the demilitarized zone, he had been informed that approximately 5,000 dunams of land2,924 of which belonged to the owners of Buteiha Farmreceived irrigation from that stretch of the river. Finally, in answer to the last set of questions, he declared that he was not in a position to give an adequate answer. He added, however, that under the Israel scheme which had been outlined to him, the water of the River Jordan which would be diverted into the projected canal would be returned to Lake Tiberias, so that the completion of the canal would affect only the stretch of the river north of Lake Tiberias. In such circumstances, the problem which arose was that of existing uses based on, and advantages received from, that stretch of the river. Another problem would arise if, following a conversion of the Israel project into an irrigation project, the volume of the waters of Lake Tiberias and of the River Jordan below that lake had been reduced and their salinity consequently increased. In that event, the interests of the State of Jordan would be affected.
At the same meeting, the representative of Pakistan stated that the basic question was not whether the project was beneficial to Israel, but whether the project contravened the Armistice Agreement. According to the United Nations, sovereignty in the demilitarized zone was in abeyance unless there was an agreement to the contrary between the parties. Further, the representative of Pakistan stated, the project would give Israel military advantages by allowing it the alternative control of the river through the use of the canal, or vice versa. The project would also affect adversely the irrigation of Arab lands and the operation of water mills. He concluded by stating that the Israel police was still exercising sovereignty in the demilitarized zone in contravention of the relevant provisions of the Armistice Agreement. Finally, he endorsed the request of General Bennike that the work on the project should be stopped until the parties could come to an agreement.
d. DRAFT RESOLUTIONS SUBMITTED TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
Two draft resolutions were submitted to the Council:
(1) A draft resolution submitted jointly by France, the United Kingdom and the United States (S/3151) at the 648th meeting on 16 December. It read as follows:
"That Security Council,
"1. Recalling its previous resolutions on the Palestine question;
"2. Taking into consideration the statements of the Representatives of Syria and Israel and the reports of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization on the Syrian complaint (S/3108/Rev.1);
"3. Notes that the Chief of Staff requested the Government of Israel on 23 September 1953 'to ensure that the authority which started work in the Demilitarized Zone on 2 September 1953 is instructed to cease working in the Zone so long as an agreement is not arranged';
"4. Endorses this action of the Chief of Staff;
"5. Recalls its resolution of 27 October 1953, taking note of the statement by the Representative of the Government of Israel that the work started by Israel in the Demilitarized Zone would be suspended pending urgent examination of the question by the Council;
"6. Declares that, in order to promote the return of permanent peace in Palestine, it is essential that the General Armistice Agreement of 20 July 1949 between Syria and Israel be strictly and faithfully observed by the Parties;
"7. Reminds the Parties that, under article 7, paragraph 8, of the Armistice Agreement, where the interpretation of the meaning of a particular provision of the Agreement other than the preamble and articles 1 and 2 is at issue, the Mixed Armistice Commission's interpretation shall prevail;
"8. Notes that article 5 of the General Armistice Agreement between Syria and Israel gives to the Chief of Staff, as Chairman of the Syrian-lsrael Mixed Armistice Commission, responsibility for the general supervision of the Demilitarized Zone;
"9. Calls upon the Chief of Staff to maintain the demilitarized character of the Zone as defined in paragraph 5 of article 5 of the Armistice Agreement;
"I0. Calls upon the Parties to comply with all his decisions and requests, in the exercise of his authority under the Armistice Agreement;
"11. Requests and authorizes the Chief of Staff to explore possibilities of reconciling the interests involved in this dispute including rights in the Demilitarized Zone and full satisfaction of existing irrigation rights at all seasons, and to take such steps as he may deem appropriate to effect reconciliation, having in view the development of the natural resources affected in a just and orderly manner for the general welfare;
"12. Calls upon the Governments of Israel and Syria to co-operate with the Chief of Staff to these ends and to refrain from any unilateral action which would prejudice them;
"13. Requests the Secretary-General to place at the disposal of the Chief of Staff a sufficient number of experts, in particular hydraulic engineers, to supply him on the technical level with the necessary data for a complete appreciation of the project in question and of its effect upon the Demilitarized Zone;
"14. Directs the Chief of Staff to report to the Security Council within 90 days on the measures taken to give effect to this resolution."
At the 651st meeting, the sponsors added the following paragraph to the joint draft resolution (S/3151/Rev.1 ):
"Affirms that nothing in this resolution shall be deemed to supersede the Armistice Agreement or to change the legal status of the Demilitarized Zone thereunder".
(2) A draft resolution by Lebanon (S/3152) submitted at the 649th meeting as an alternative to the three-Power joint draft resolution. It read:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions on the Palestine question,
"Taking note of the statements of the Representatives of Syria and Israel and the reports of the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization on the Syrian complaint (S/3108),
"Recalling the conclusion of the Chief of Staff in paragraph 8 of his report (S/3122) that both on the basis of the protection of normal civilian life in the area of the Demilitarized Zone and of the value of the Zone to both Parties for the separation of their armed forces, he does not consider that a Party should, in the absence of an agreement, carry out in the Demilitarized Zone work prejudicing the objects of the Demilitarized Zone as stated in article 5, paragraph 2, of the General Armistice Agreement, as well as his request to the Israel Government to ensure that the authority which started work in the Demilitarized Zone on 2 September 1953 is instructed to cease working in the Zone so long as an agreement is not arranged,
" 1. Endorses that action of the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and calls upon the parties to comply with it;
"2. Declares that the non-compliance with this decision and the continuation of the unilateral anion of Israel in contravention of the Armistice Agreement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace;
"3. Requests and authorizes the Chief of Staff to endeavour to bring about an agreement between the Parties concerned and calls upon the parties to cooperate in the Mixed Armistice Commission and with the United Nations Chief of Staff in reaching that agreement."
In introducing the joint draft resolution, the representative of the United States said that his delegation had come to the following conclusions. First, strict compliance with the Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria was of vital importance to the peace of the area. Secondly, the primary responsibility of the Council in the matter was to uphold that Armistice Agreement which it had endorsed in its resolution of 11 August 1949 as superseding the truce and facilitating the transition to permanent peace; the agent of the Council for those purposes was the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization. Thirdly, development projects which were consistent with the undertakings of the parties under the Armistice Agreement and which were in the general interest and did not infringe upon established rights and obligations should be encouraged. He added that the decision of the Chief of Staff regarding the Jordan River diversion project should be subject to those considerations. The Chief of Staff, who was responsible for the general supervision of the demilitarized zone, was the proper authority to determine whether the project met those conditions. Any unilateral action from whatever side, which was not consistent with that authority, threatened the effective operation and the enforcement of the Armistice Agreement, the United States representative said. Similarly, he added, no Government should exercise a veto power over legitimate projects in the demilitarized zone. On the basis of those conclusions, his delegation had joined with France and the United Kingdom in submitting the above draft resolution.
The representative of the United Kingdom stated that the report of the Chief of Staff, as well as the various statements made to the Council, had clearly established the following basic facts:
(l) that the Palestine Electric Corporation had begun to dig in the demilitarized zone a canal which would take water to a power station on Israel territory;
(2) that, being informed of the work some time after it had started, General Bennike had asked the Government of Israel to ensure that the authority which had started the work should be instructed to suspend working in the zone so long as agreement had not been arranged; and
(3) that, after an exchange of communications with General Bennike, the Government of Israel had not complied with that request.
He considered it unfortunate that Israel should have ignored General Bennike's request. Consequently, the Council was faced, not with the question of whether the canal was in itself a good and useful project, but solely with the question of the failure by one party to the Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreement to comply with a request of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commissionthe only authority which stood for some sort of order and which was probably the only barrier against complete chaos. The United Kingdom representative added that it was his Government's view that General Bennike had been fully entitled under the Armistice Agreement to make the request that he had made to the Government of Israel and that the Council was justified in expecting that the Government of Israel would not start work again on the canal without General Bennike's authorization. He had listened, he said, with the greatest attention to the arguments which had endeavoured to show that the work could not proceed without the consent of the Government of Syria, but his delegation had not been convinced by those arguments. It was important, he emphasized, that the Council should endeavour to give General Bennike the best guidance and all the help it could for the further handling of the problem. Though he believed that neither party could carry out projects, however beneficial, which were contrary to the terms of the Armistice Agreement, it seemed to him that a determined effort should be made to reconcile conflicting interests. Indeed, as a general proposition, he believed that the longer the temporary armistice arrangements continued, the more desirable it was that some way be found which would allow constructive projects in the area to be undertaken provided that it could be demonstrated that no interest would suffer thereby. He therefore considered that the joint draft resolution constituted the right approach by providing:
(l) that the Council should call upon the Government of Israel to suspend operations until such time as the United Nations Chief of Staff agreed that they might proceed; and
(2) that General Bennike should be given all possible help in forming a definitive opinion on whether the project would contribute to the orderly development Of the natural resources affected, and should be authorized to explore the possibility of reconciling the interests involved in the dispute.
The representative of France said that one of the parties to the Armistice Agreement had brought before the Council a complaint based upon the alleged refusal of the other party to comply with the provisional request of the Chief of Staff. The Council was, therefore, faced with the very obvious duty of confirming the decision of the Chief of Staff. While it had been gratifying that the defendant party should have announced before the Council that it would suspend the work during the discussions, it must be understood that, in the view of the Council, the suspension should not be limited in time: the work should be stopped, not only until the end of the discussion in the Council but until the decision given by the Chief of Staff on 23 September 1953 ceased to have effect. The authority exercised by General Bennike was, in fact, that of the Security Council, and though, under the Armistice Agreement, the Council was the supreme arbiter it could not permit the parties to call the authority of the Chief of Staff in question.
The representative of France maintained that, divested of its political elements, the problem to be resolved by the Chief of Staff was that of the utilization, in the best interest of each of the parties, of one of the rare sources of water in that part of Palestine. It was, of course, necessary that all the rights involved should be respected and those rights were intermingled in a very complex manner. Syria and Israel alike were entitled to have the Armistice Agreement strictly applied; private persons were entitled to respect for their property; riparian owners, particularly the owners of Buteiha Farm, were entitled to use the water for irrigation. Further,. he said, the discussions had shown that satisfaction of the rights of one party was not necessarily opposed to satisfaction of the rights of the other. Part of the waters of the Jordan might be diverted, while at the same time the influx of water into the irrigation channels was assured by control The water catchments might be so arranged as not to prejudice the rights of any owner without his consent. There might also be a solemn undertaking under the guarantee of the Security Council that no authorized installation would create a vested interest in favour of any of the States concerned at the time of a final territorial settlement. His delegation did not even discard the possibility of a partition of those demilitarized zones, the status of which so often caused the difficulties with which the Council was familiar. His Government he said, viewed such a partition as highly desirable. One of its consequences might be the settlement of that very case of the waters of the Jordan. For all those reasons, it seemed to his delegation that an effort should be made to explore at least the possibilities of a peaceful settlement, having regard to all the interests and rights involved; the Chief of Staff alone was qualified for that task.
In conclusion he stated that, in spite of all the efforts made by the Secretary-General, the staff under General Bennike, though superior in quality was still very limited in number. Even with his extensive technical knowledge, the General was unable to attend to all details himself. His delegation, the representative of France stated, hoped that the experts made available to the Chief of Staff would enjoy the full co-operation of the parties in carrying out their appointed task, which was in the common interest. In selecting the experts, the Secretary-General would surely bear those considerations in mind and would endeavour to enlist the services of technicians whose authority would be accepted by both parties without question. Once their report had been submitted, the final decision would rest with the Chief of Staff. The representative of France also said that if there had been less water in the Jordan river it would have constituted a less serious military obstacle. But, after all, the experience of the last war had shown how easily a trained army could cross water lines very much wider than the Jordan. In his delegation's opinion, it would be unjust and contrary to the spirit of the United Nations if a region's future and economic development were to be decided by theoretical military exercises carried out on maps. Surely Israel, by planning the construction close to its frontier of hydro-electric installations essential to its economy was demonstrating its faith and confidence in the peaceable spirit of its neighbours.
At the 649th meeting on 17 December 1953, the representatives of Israel and Syria reviewed their respective positions concerning the question. They also offered their comments upon the joint draft resolution. Israel gave its qualified consent, whereas Syria indicated its opposition to it.
At the 650th meeting on 18 December 1953, the representative of China analysed the joint draft resolution and expressed his delegation's readiness to uphold the authority of the Chief of Staff. However, he preferred that paragraph 11 of the draft resolution be more definite in meaning and more limited in scope. He believed that the Council should specifically state that it was the duty of the Chief of Staff to seek the agreement of the two parties by way of reconciliation; in case he should fail in obtaining the necessary agreement of the two parties, he should report to the Council for final decision. He also believed that the second part of paragraph 11 dealing with the development of the natural resources might well be put in a separate paragraph, using the words of the representative of the United States to the effect that development projects which were consistent with the undertakings of the parties under the Armistice Agreement and which were in the general interest and did not infringe upon established rights and obligations should be encouraged. He added that the Chief of Staff himself, in making his decision of 23 September, must have thought that the objections of Syria to that development scheme had been reasonable and serious. Therefore, it was only right and proper that the Council's first effort in solving the problem must be to secure the agreement of Syria. He considered that paragraph 11 as it stood was unsatisfactory and said that, unless changed, it would affect the attitude of his delegation towards the whole draft resolution.
The representative of Pakistan said that, according to the instructions of his Government, he was not authorized to support the three-Power draft resolution in its present form. The two main reasons for his delegation's attitude were:
(l) that in the circumstances of the case as presented to the Council by Syria that draft resolution was irrelevant at first glance; and
(2) that, when examined closely, it was full of most dangerous ambiguities.
He analysed the details of the complaint before the Council as well as the joint draft resolution, which he criticized for not stating whether the projected canal was contrary to the Armistice Agreement or not and for concentrating on an economic solution. Moreover, he said, the joint draft resolution seemed to have ignored the contents and meaning of General Bennike's report. Also, it did not take into account the military aspect of the complaint. After analysing the various paragraphs of the joint draft resolution, the representative of Pakistan singled out paragraph 11, characterizing it as a masterpiece of obfuscation. For example, he said, he could not understand the interests referred to in that paragraph: did it mean the interests of the people in the demilitarized zone or those of Syria? The statements made by the sponsors of the joint draft were also, he maintained, useless as a guide for General Bennike; they had ignored not only his advice, but also the military implications of the situation. Instead of helping and guiding General Bennike, said the representative of Pakistan, the Council, in its discussions, was thwarting, misleading and misguiding him. In conclusion, he said that the Council could not pretend, by stressing only the economic problems, that the political difficulties did not exist. Anyone who thought of the prosperity of the region in question and who had the welfare of its people at heart should apply himself to the political difficulties involved.
The representative of Lebanon expressed his inability to support the joint draft resolution in its present form. He believed that at that stage of the deliberations the following three basic objectives should be affirmed:
(l) the inviolability of the Armistice Agreement ought to be stressed to the utmost;
(2) as part of that inviolability, the inviolability of the status of the demilitarized zone must be emphasized, because that zone was part and parcel of the Armistice Agreement;
(3) whatever economic development was contemplated for the area, particularly the exploitation of its water resources, care should be taken so as not to dose the door to any possibility of the regional arrangements that might be developed subsequently.
Consequently, he submitted an alternative draft resolution (S/3152, see above).
Defining his delegation's position towards the three-Power draft resolution, the representative of the USSR said that, after careful consideration, it was impossible not to agree with the criticism which had already been levelled against the draft in the Council. Almost half of the preamble consisted of references to other material and, consequently, had no independent significance. The operative part, he said, was unacceptable and he did not see how it could be improved, because the whole drafting from beginning to end was completely unsatisfactory
Paragraph 11 ignored what, in his delegation's opinion, was an exceedingly important condition for the settlement of any question connected with the aims and purposes of the demilitarized zone, namely, the condition that any particular measures could be carried out only with the agreement of both parties. Nowhere in the draft was any reference made either to Syria or to Israel or to the dispute which had caused the whole question to be considered by the Council. There was not even an allusion to the parties concerned, yet all the time it was primarily the interests of those parties which were involved, since the whole subject was connected with the position in the demilitarized zone and the significance of that zone. Paragraph 11 made a sufficiently clear reference to the need for adopting measures calculated to reconcile "the interests involved in this dispute"; that was a very vague phrase. If the interests were those of Israel and Syria why not say so openly. If any other interests were involved, then again it should be stated precisely what interests were envisaged. That it was not exactly the interests of Israel and Syria which were involved, but the interest of some other States was, the USSR representative stated, emphasized further on in paragraph 11, where reference was made to the necessity of the development of the natural resources for the general welfare. No one, of course, would object to the promotion of the general welfare, but when the Council was concerned with a particular matter, namely, the dispute which had arisen between Israel and Syria, and when, instead of referring to the interests of those two adjacent States, it was found necessary to make use of the wording which spoke of the general welfare, then it was obvious that paragraph 11 completely failed to meet the problem facing the Council, which had undertaken to settle certain outstanding questions which had arisen between Israel and Syria in connexion with the construction of a canal in the demilitarized zone.
His delegation considered that, in view of those serious defects in the three-Power draft resolution, its adoption, in view of the absence of agreement between the two sides on the disputed points, could lead only to a further deterioration in the relations between those States, and that would be contrary to the interests of the maintenance of peace in the area.
The representative of Lebanon made a detailed statement in which he analysed, paragraph by paragraph, the joint draft resolution. After offering his suggestions and comments on the various paragraphs, he analysed in a more detailed manner paragraph 11, which he found unacceptable. He said that he saw no reason why paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 should, at that stage, be included at all in the joint draft. Should, however, the sponsors insist on retaining paragraph 11, he maintained that the paragraph must define exactly what was meant by the words "interests involved" and "natural resources affected". In the circumstances, he completely repudiated any notion that the Chief of Staff, under the joint draft resolution or any resolution pertaining to the Armistice Agreement between Syria and Israel, could extend his investigations or explorations to include any matters appertaining to Lebanon. Moreover, he insisted that the text define the words "general welfare", since the paragraph seemed to him to be so general as to be unacceptable because of its very dangerous implications, of which his delegation was genuinely afraid. Paragraph 13, he said, was also unacceptable, because it did not make the appointment of the proposed experts subject to the consent of the two parties to the dispute. Finally, he declared that if Syria's consent was necessary to change any provisions of the Armistice Agreement, that consent was also necessary for any contemplated change in the demilitarized zone.
At the 652nd meeting on 22 December, the representative of Syria reviewed the entire question and analysed in detail the joint draft resolution which, he stated, was unacceptable. He said that his Government found that the text of the joint draft failed to deal with its complaint, did not satisfy the provisions of the Armistice Agreement and would not even serve as an expedient in dealing with a grave situation. Syria, as a Member of the United Nations, had, he said, in accordance with the Charter, brought a complaint before the Council, a complaint based on the fact that Israel's action had contravened the Armistice Agreement and that Israel's persistence in attempting to exercise sovereignty and public power in the demilitarized zone and beyond the armistice demarcation line had constituted a repudiation by Israel of the Armistice Agreement. Syria's complaint had been substantiated by sufficient proof and justification. The Council could not, without shirking its duties and responsibilities under the Charter, refrain from pronouncing itself on the complaint and giving its verdict. The three-Power draft resolution did not constitute a Council verdict on the matter brought before it; it tended to bypass the Syrian complaint and to shift it into other domains. The draft resolution implicitly invited the Council to refrain from acting on the complaint and thus invited it to deny justice to a Member State.
He added that, under the Charter, the Security Council could try to conciliate a dispute between two or more parties. The question before the Council was undoubtedly a dispute. The joint draft resolution, however, failed to follow the conciliation procedures laid down in the Charter. The effect of the joint draft resolution would be to paralyse the Security Council in respect of matters of security and to draw it into domains wherein the responsibility belonged exclusively to the Economic and Social Council. Finally, under the three-Power draft, General Bennike would have to assume the functions of a judge to ascertain whether certain private rights existed or not. The Chief of Staff was not equipped for such a purpose. He could not administer directly the demilitarized zone under the Agreement and had no authority to pass judgments. He had the authority to supervise the zone, but had no authority to consider hydraulic projects except to the extent that they affected the Armistice Agreement.
At the 653rd meeting on 22 December, the Council decided to release General Bennike from attending the meetings and to return to his headquarters in Palestine.
At the 654th meeting on 29 December, the Council was informed by the representative of Denmark that all efforts at finding an acceptable text had been in vain. The Council then decided to adjourn until early January 1954. In the course of that meeting, the representative of the USSR suggested that the three sponsors withdraw their text altogether and endeavour to submit a new one, dealing with the question under consideration. He explained that his delegation could not support the three-Power draft because it did not relate directly to the problem under discussion, but rather constituted an attempt to substitute for that question the problem of how the United States could obtain mastery over the economy of the Middle and Near East using the opportunity provided by the dispute between Syria and Israel on the building of a canal and a hydro-electric station.
At the end of 1953 the matter was still under consideration by the Council.
5. Assistance to Palestine Refugees
a. REPORT OF UNRWA
The Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) submitted a report (A/2470) to the eighth session of the General Assembly covering the period 1 July 1952 to 30 June 1953, stating that, five years after the outbreak of hostilities in Palestine, the number of refugees dependent on international aid was the same 872,000. The natural increase in the refugee population added an estimated 22,000 to 25,000 to the relief rolls every year. However, the failure to reduce the number of relief recipients had not resulted in increased expenditure, which remained at the $23 million set by the General Assembly. This was made possible by a slight reduction in prices and by certain administrative measures. Another favourable development, the Director reported, was the conclusion of four programme agreements with three of the host countries (Jordan, Syria and Egypt) envisaging an expenditure of $111 million. The same countries had been added to the membership of the Advisory Commission, a fact to which the Director attached great importance.
The report further stated that the attitude of the refugees toward resettlement had not changed and constituted a formidable obstacle to their rehabilitation. The Agency alone could not do much to change that situation since it would require the combined efforts of the governments identified with the UNRWA programme. The fact that Jordan, Syria and Egypt were prepared to negotiate agreements with the Agency, the Director stated, indicated that they appreciated that the refugee's acceptance of a house and an opportunity to resume a normal life did not in any way affect his right to repatriation or compensation when the time came. However, the tone of manifestoes submitted on behalf of refugees and of the local press showed that that fundamental principle was either not widely understood or was deliberately ignored.
The number of relief recipients would not have decreased significantly by the time the Agency's mandate came to an end in June 1954, the report said.
The Director suggested that it would be more appropriate for the governments to assume responsibility for administration of the relief programme. However, the timing of such a transfer demanded careful attention, as well as the probable duration of the programme and its cost. In his opinion, it would be six years before an appreciable reduction in relief could take place; unless other measures were taken, many refugees would lack means of self-support for a still longer period. That, the report said, pointed to the need for parallel programmes of economic development to supplement the plan of the Agency.
If financial assistance could be guaranteed by the international community, the host governments would have no grounds for objecting to assumption of administrative responsibility for relief, the report said. Various relief functions and also education should be transferred before the end of June 1954, while the transfer of responsibility for procurement and distribution should be possible by the middle of 1955. If these suggestions were adopted, the Director of the Agency concluded, the future role of the Agency in the relief field would be gradually to transfer the administration for health, camps, welfare supply and education and to retain only technical assistance and financial auditing functions. In the rehabilitation field, UNRWA's functions would also include the co-ordination of projects financed by the Agency with the over-all development plans of the host governments.
The report stated that the Agency's total income for the fiscal year amounted to some $49.5 million, consisting of $48.8 million in cash contributions, $492,000 in contributions in kind and $446,000 in miscellaneous receipts, less $208,000 for exchange adjustments. Thus, after taking into account $18.8 million in cash held at the beginning of the year, the sum of $68.3 million was available for the Agency's operations during the year. This was far short of the budget of $122.9 million authorized by the General Assembly. Nevertheless, it was stated, the Agency possessed ample resources for its operations, since expenditure on rehabilitation was (as might be expected) far less than the amounts reserved or committed, for which the Agency must secure cash or firm pledges before agreements with the governments might be signed.
The report gave the following major sources of cash contributions: United States $36,000 000; United Kingdom $9,600,000; France $928,571; Near East Governments $501,774; other governments $1,618,409; other contributors $148,022. The total unpaid pledges amounted to $56,577,648. The unpaid pledges of the United States and the United Kingdom, amounting, respectively, to $44,063,250 and $9.800,160, were, the report stated, mainly sums reserved for the rehabilitation programme agreements or projects which had no. yet been initiated. The unpaid pledge of France of $2,214,286 was available to the Agency when French francs were needed and was paid when needed by the Agency.
The total expenditure of the Agency was $26,778,934, out of which $23,400,729 was spent on the relief programme and 53,378,205 on the project programme.
The report stated that more than 58 per cent of project expenditures was incurred in projects negotiated with Jordan, mainly on engineering surveys for the Yarmuk Valley scheme and the Ghor Nimrin tent factory, which would shortly be in production. In addition, the Agency contributed another $140,000 to the funds of the Jordan Development Bank, bringing its total investment to $560,000. Expenditure in Syria was mainly for vocational training courses, principally in skilled trades. Over 390,000 was spent on the exploitation of uncultivated lands to determine their suitability for agricultural use. Industrial loans were made to Iraq for the purpose of establishing two factories.
For the next financial year 1953-54, the Director of the Agency recommended an increase in the relief budget over that for the previous year, in order to enable the Agency to provide shelter for refugees who had been living outside camps but whose means were now exhausted, and to distribute additional food to certain categories of refugeesin particular to young childrenin order to counter the risk of malnutrition to which the experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had drawn attention. The sum recommended by the Director was $25.7 million, representing an increase of $2.4 million over the previous year. This recommendation was amended later to $24.8 million for relief.
As regards the rehabilitation of refugees, the report stated that by the end of June 1953, in addition to the four programme agreements with Jordan, Syria and Egypt (referred to above) for projects envisaging schemes to make refugees self-supporting, a general agreement for an unspecified amount had been concluded with the Libyan Government.
The report noted the following progress in the implementation of these programmes:
The first agreement with the Jordan Government was signed on 5 August 1952. It reserved a total of $11 million for projects calculated to make 5,000 refugee families self supporting. The expenditure would be distributed over: research, planning and surveys; agriculture; industry and commerce; urban housing; and vocational training.
Under the heading "research, planning and surveys"; a soils laboratory was set up in Amman and hydrological surveys were carried out in the Wadi Faras, the Ghor land at the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Shera'a region. Investigations were also made at Azrak. None of these regions proved suitable for cultivation and the projects were abandoned.
In the agricultural sector, two small agricultural schemes, begun before the signing of the agreement, at a cost of, respectively, $92,000 and $17,000 had absorbed 32 refugee families in one case and 100 in the other, the report stated. New agricultural schemes undertaken after the signing of the agreement had taken the form
a series of small settlements along the Jordan-Israel frontier.
In the category of urban housing, the Agency had undertaken with the Jordan Government the building of 50 houses on the outskirts of Amman. The scheme, costing $68,000, had helped to remove 250 names from the Agency's rises. Similar projects were being considered for other towns in Jordan.
In the category of vocational training was the establishment of a technical training school for 600 boys at Kalundia, near Jerusalem, at an estimated cost of $400,000. A similar scheme for girls was under preparation. Other training schemes in progress included courses in midwifery, pharmaceutical training, teaching, laboratory training, nursing, and statistical training.
The report further stated that, at the end of March 1953, a second broad programme agreement with the Jordan Government was concluded concerning the Yarmuk-Jordan Valley scheme for the irrigation of the Jordan Valley. It was estimated that the scheme would benefit some 150,000 refugees.
Under the programme agreement signed with Syria, the Agency undertook to reserve $30 million for a programme which would improve the living conditions of refugees in Syria, over a period ending 30 June 1954. The programme would include technical training, education, industry and commerce and agriculture. Up to the end of June 1953, the report stated, the amount spent was approximately $500,000.
Some $102,000 had been allotted for courses to university students, teachers, shorthand typists and accountants, dressmakers, medical orderlies, midwives and other medical personnel. An amount of $231,000 was earmarked for education for refugee children in Syria for the past year and had also been debited to the 330 million, the report said. Some $145,000 had been spent on agricultural projects, mainly of a preliminary and experimental nature. Progress in this field had been disappointing, due to the nature of the soil.
Under a programme agreement signed with Egypt in December 1952, $300,000 were earmarked for a vocational training scheme in Gaza. A sum of $17,000 had been allotted so far for the construction of a school which would accommodate about 400 students. It would give courses far foundry-workers, blacksmiths, and carpenters and for car maintenance and repairs.
On 30 June 1953, a broad programme agreement was signed between the Agency and the Egyptian Government providing for the co-operation of the two parties in searching for practicable projects in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the Gaza district. The Agency undertook to reserve an amount of approximately $30 million for these projects, pending the completion of economic and engineering surveys, for which it would advance a maximum of $50,000. If, as a result of the surveys, it should be decided to proceed with specific schemes, project agreements would be negotiated defining the amount of money to be committed by the Agency and the approximate number of refugees to be rendered self-supporting.
On 23 November 1952, an agreement was concluded between the Agency and the Government of Libya, by which it was agreed that the Government would admit a number of refugees and would allow them to be established on a self-supporting basis, and would in due course confer on those who applied the rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens of Libya
Although the number of refugees was not specified in the agreement, an understanding was subsequently reached by an exchange of letters, as a result of which 1,200 families (about 6,000 persons) would be covered by the scheme, of which 1,000 would be agricultural and 200 artisan families. On the evidence at present available, it was expected that some $2 million would be involved in the rehabilitation of this number of refugees in Libya. All that had so far been achieved was the establishment of a few artisan families who were assisted by the Agency to find work. Investigations were being made into the possibilities of large-scale agricultural projects.
In addition to those negotiated with governments, a limited number of projects of a more general nature were being operated as headquarters' schemes. These included research projects, placement activities, projects involving the acquisition of capital equipment (such as drilling rigs) for general use, and training courses run in countries, such as Lebanon, with which no programme agreement had as yet been concluded. A total of $179,000 had been spent on such headquarters projects up to 30 June 1953.
In addition, any rehabilitation activity in Iraq was currently classified as headquarters expenditure. The Iraqi Government had from the beginning taken full responsibility for the 5,000 refugees within the country and the Agency therefore maintained only a small office in Baghdad. A teachers' training course for 60 refugee students from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza had already been completed; and two loan agreements had been concluded for establishing respectively a clothing factory and a candy factory to employ refugees from other countries. By the end of the fiscal year, neither of these projects had reached the stage of production and difficulties were being experienced in obtaining entry visas for prospective refugee employees.
Reporting on health conditions, the Director stated that the total cost of the health and camp maintenance programmes for refugees during the period covered by the report was $3,294,000. Of the "treaty diseases" (cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever), only one case of epidemic typhus was recorded. The immunization campaigns against smallpox, enteric fevers and diphtheria succeeded in eliminating smallpox and in reducing greatly the incidence of enteric fevers and diphtheria. The incidence of malaria, it was reported, had generally declined due to anti-malaria campaigns. The report further gave an account of special campaigns carried out to prevent eye diseases, to supervise and advise expectant mothers, to prevent syphilis and to provide nursing services.
As regards education, the Director reported that in September 1952 a total of 52,776 pupils were registered in UNRWA-UNESCO schools. In addition, an estimated number of 57,681 pupils were reported as in attendance in private and government schools. By May 1953, the registration in UNRWA-UNESCO schools had increased by approximately 19,000 pupils, and that in government and private schools by approximately 1,500 pupils. The teaching staff, which had been 955 at the end of the school year 1951-52, had increased to 1,536 in June 1953. For the school year 1953-54, the Agency was making provision for nearly 95,000 children in its own schools. If the number of children in government and private schools remained constant, this would mean that 150,000 children would be receiving primary education.
With regard to secondary education, the report stated that comparatively few refugee children were maintained in secondary classes. However, during the school year 1953-54, it was planned to provide secondary education in government and private secondary schools and, in some cases, in UNRWA classes, for approximately 5,000 pupils.
During the school year 1952-53, grants-in-aid amounting to 312,000 were given to universities in Beirut and partial assistance was extended to nearly 100 students at the University of Syria. A literacy campaign, partly successful, was conducted, during the year, in Gaza.
The report also dealt with: welfare activities, such as social case work and individual care, operation of social welfare centres and training of social welfare workers; sponsorship of arts and crafts activities for girls and women; distribution of donated clothing; co-ordination of work with voluntary agencies; and distribution of milk.
Under the heading "Co-operation with other United Nations organizations", the Director expressed appreciation of the assistance rendered by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the specialized agencies of the United Nations. UNICEF, the report said, had contributed $2,125,447 in supplies including currants, fats, milk powder and sugar.
A joint special report of the Director and the Advisory Commission of the Agency (A/2470/Add.1), dated 26 October 1953, stated, inter alia, that, despite all efforts, including the conclusion of programme agreements with three Middle Eastern Governments, it was practically impossible to bring about the rehabilitation of all Arab refugees in the existing economic and political circumstances. There was, however, a prospect that, by their early employment on projects under consideration by the host governments and UNRWA, many refugees would be able to become self-supporting.
The special report stated further that the sum of $25.7 million recommended by the Director for the relief programme in 1953-54 might be reduced to $24.8 million in view of the delay in the implementation of these recommendations and the purchase of one basic commodity at a greatly reduced price. With regard to the transfer of administration of relief to host governments, as suggested by the Director, the Commission recommended that the Director negotiate on this subject with the individual host governments and report to the General Assembly at its next session. It also recommended that the General Assembly should, among other things:
(1) extend the mandate of UNRWA as an interim measure until 30 June 1955 and review the problem at its ninth session;
(2) authorize the Director to adopt a provisional budget for relief of $18 million for the fiscal year 1954-55, to be subject to review at the Assembly's ninth session;
(3) authorize the Director to undertake a relief programme during 1953-54 at a cost of $24.8 million, and to introduce additional measures outlined in his report;
(4) increase to $293 million the amount of $250 million originally envisaged in the three-year plan adopted by resolution 513(Vl),
/ and invite the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to initiate negotiations with Member and non-member States with a view to obtaining contributions for the additional funds required.
Among the specialized agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a contribution to the Agency of approximately $43,000 as well as providing a chief of the UNRWA Health Division and two other staff members for the technical supervision of the Agency's health programme.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Director stated, undertook, as in the past, to contribute the sum of $70,000 towards the cost of the education programme for Arab refugees, and to appoint and pay the salaries of two education officers to take charge of the technical execution of the programme. It also made arrangements for donations in the form of gift coupons from Canada, the Netherlands, Portuguese East Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States to the UNRWA-UNESCO schools, amounting to $8,879 for the year under review. The Swedish National Commission of UNESCO sent a special contribution in kindschool equipmentworth $10,000; American teachers sent reference books for the teachers' seminars, which were held during the year to improve the standard of teaching in refugee schools.
Under a special agreement concluded between UNESCO and UNRWA for a programme of technical assistance for training and re-training of children, youths and adults among the Palestine refugees, a UNESCO technical assistance mission to UNRWA commenced operating in 1952-1953. It comprised a fundamental and adult education specialist, a vocational training specialist, a visual aid specialist and a cameraman. UNESCO's contribution towards the cost of the team amounted to $50,000. The mission, reduced to three specialists and with a budget of $35,000, was renewed for 1954.
At the end of March, the Agency was informed that the General Conference of UNESCO, at its seventh session, had authorized the Director-General to continue, in collaboration with UNRWA, to provide assistance for Palestine refugees in the Middle East. The Conference also appropriated the sum of $90,000 for the calendar year 1953 as a contribution towards UNRWA's expenditure on education. As in the past, this sum included the salaries of the two UNESCO field officers in charge of the execution of the programme, so that the actual cash transfer would amount to approximately $70,000 per annum.
Acknowledging the contribution of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Director stated that basic agreement between ILO and UNRWA for the provision of technical assistance was signed at the end of 1952, as well as a supplementary agreement, under which ILO undertook to provide one vocational training expert for a period of one year to act as adviser to the Principal of the vocational training centre for refugees at Kalundia, and three vocational training experts for a period of one year each to act as workshop supervisor instructors at the same centre. In addition, four fellowships for study abroad for three months in building trades, metal working and electrical trades, vocational education and school administration were to be provided for staff members of the centre.
Between May and August 1952, ILO had lent an expert to undertake studies in the area, with a view to the possible development of handicrafts and cottage industries among the refugee population.
As regards the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the report stated that the senior supervisory officer of the Nutrition Division of FAO, accompanied by the nutrition and home economics officer of the FAO Regional Office for the Near East, visited the Agency in February 1953 in order to advise on nutritional problems. This visit was in the nature of a follow-up visit for nutritional surveys made in conjunction with WHO in 1950 and 1951; and it resulted in the adoption by the Agency of several valuable suggestions on supplementary feeding. FAO has also assisted the Agency over the recruitment of a nutritionist.
b. CONSIDERATION BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT ITS EIGHTH SESSION
1. Discussions in the Ad Hoc Political Committee
The Ad Hoc Political Committee considered the question of assistance to Palestine refugees at its 23rd to 30th meetings, between 2 and 12 November 1953. At the invitation of the Chairman, Leslie J. Caner, Acting Director of UNRWA made a statement at the 23rd meeting. He recalled that the three-year plan prepared by the former Director of the Agency had established two separate funds, one, amounting to 850 million, to be spent on relief to refugees, and the other, amounting to $200 million, to be used to assist in making them self-supporting.
He explained that the plan had been based upon two main principles: (1) that acceptance by the refugee of assistance provided by the Agency would in no way prejudice his right to repatriation or compensation; and (2) that expenditure on relief would be reduced progressively as expenditure from the $200 million fund increased. It had been recognized that the plan would not succeed unless it received full support from the Arab Governments and the refugees themselves. Two years had elapsed since the plan had been put into operation, and the $50 million earmarked for relief had been spent. The Agency's mandate would expire on 30 June 1954.
With regard to the main object of the plan, the creation of occupations enabling refugees to become self-supporting, the results had been disappointing. That was because more time than anticipated had been required to decide upon and initiate the projects to be financed and was also due to the attitude of the refugees, who frequently refused to take advantage of the services placed at their disposal by the Agency. It would be impossible to compel them to do so without violating the fundamental principles of the Charter. Mr. Caner stated that he had been much impressed by the virtual unanimity with which the refugees had told him that they would not accept anything but the return to their homes guaranteed them by General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948.
The Governments of the Arab countries had shown their willingness to co-operate with the Agency by signing four programme agreements during the period under review. Three of those Governments were serving on the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and a fourth had requested to be represented there also. The representatives of those countries had, in particular, co-operated in the preparation of the joint report by the Director and the Advisory Commission of the Agency.
He recalled that he had indicated in the Agency's annual report to the Assembly that it would be possible, and, indeed, desirable to arrange for the gradual transfer of some of the relief activities to the host governments. The Agency had done its best to facilitate that transfer, foreshadowed in paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 513 (VI), which would eliminate many of the difficulties with which the Agency was currently faced. The members of the Advisory Commission had expressed the opinion that the Agency was performing its work with reasonable efficiency and the transfer would probably cause some dislocation in the progress of operations.
Failing the transfer of administrative responsibility to the host governments, the life of the Agency would have to be prolonged beyond 30 June 1954 in order to allow the General Assembly to review the position at its next session. The joint report, therefore, recommended that the Assembly decide provisionally to extend the Agency's mandate until 30 June 1955, which would enable the Agency to study the problem in all its aspects and to report to the Assembly's next session. In that connexion, Mr. Carver drew attention to the warning sounded in the joint report that the rehabilitation of all the Arab refugees was for practical purposes impossible in existing economic and political circumstances in the Near East. That remark reinforced the statement in the report stressing the urgency of the need for measures to settle the problem.
For the next fiscal year, the joint report recommended the adoption of a relief plan requiring new cash in the amount of $24.8 million, or $1.5 million more than for the year 1952-53. That increase was required to provide 63,000 additional rations during the second half of the year and shelter for 87,000 refugees whose means were exhausted.
For the fiscal year 1954-55, the joint report recommended the adoption of a provisional relief budget of $18 million subject to review at the Assembly's next session. That figure was calculated on the assumption that it would be possible to give employment to approximately 12,000 refugees and that their families would be removed from the ration rolls.
With regard to educational activities, the Agency hoped to enable approximately 150,000 children, or 75 per cent of those of school age' to receive primary education during the next fiscal year. The funds available to the Agency did not allow it to provide secondary or university education for all those wishing to receive it, but it was hoped that the position in that respect could be improved slightly. Meanwhile, the Agency was endeavouring to increase facilities for vocational training.
In the field of health, the results obtained during the past financial year could be described as satisfactory, Mr. Carver stated.
At the 24th meeting on 3 November, France, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States submitted a joint draft resolution ( A/AC.72/L.12).
Under part A of this draft, the General Assembly would:
(1) recall its resolutions 194(III)
/ of 11 December 1948, 302(IV)
/ of 8 December 1949, 393(V)
/ of 2 December 1950, 513(VI)
/ of 26 January 1952 and 614(VII)
of 6 November 1952;
(2) refer to the reports of the Director of UNRWA and the joint report of the Director and the Advisory Commission;
(3) note the conclusion of programme agreements with some Near East Governments and that expectations regarding their execution had not been realized; and
(4) note also that the situation of the refugees continued to cause concern.
In the operative part, the Assembly would:
(I) decide to extend the mandate of UNRWA until 30 June 1955;
(2) authorize a budget of $24.8 million for the fiscal year ending June 1954 and a provisional budget of $18 million for the fiscal year ending June 1955;
(3) maintain the projects fund at $200 million, urging UNRWA and the governments of the Near Eastern countries concerned to continue to seek acceptable projects; and
(4) request the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to seek the funds required to meet the current needs of the relief programmes and to invite governments to take into account the additional pledges required to meet the total programme now established at $292 million.
Under part B of the joint draft resolution, the Assembly would:
(I) note the current membership of the Advisory Commission of UNRWA (Egypt, France, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States);
(2) note that it was in the general interest that other contributing countries join the Advisory Commission; and
(3) authorize the Advisory Commission to increase its membership by not more than two additional members.
Explaining the joint draft resolution, the representative of the United States said that the Agency's operations in no way prejudiced the rights of the refugees. With regard to part B of the draft, he stated that, while his delegation gladly supported the proposal authorizing the Advisory Commission to increase its membership by two, he felt that a balance should be maintained between UNRWA and its Advisory Commission. To expedite the daily operations of the Agency, it would be best for the Advisory Commission to concern itself primarily with broad policy in consultation with its Director.
His Government, he said, was increasingly concerned with the magnitude of the refugee problem and the delays in finding means to solve it, in whole or in part. His Government, in the words of one of the United States congressional committees, was not prepared to bear indefinitely so large a share of the burden when Israel and the Arab States showed so little initiative in helping to settle the matter among themselves. There was a very real danger that the longer the United States continued to supply relief money, the less desire there would be on the part of the States in the area to make real efforts on their own to put an end to the problem. Having given continuous support in the past, the United States Government now looked to the countries of the Near East, which were primarily concerned, and which had primary responsibility, for constructive solutions.
The United States also believed that the interests of both the Palestine refugees and of Israel itself made it important for Israel to take further steps with a minimum of delay in discharge of its responsibilities for compensating the Palestine refugees, and that Israel would be well advised to renew consideration of the responsibility for, and the possibilities of, repatriation.
Ready as the sponsors and other nations might be to help with services and funds, the programmes so far proposed could not hope to solve the problem for more than 320,000 refugees who would be rendered self-supporting, as estimated in the Agency's report. No programmes were yet under consideration for the remaining 500,000. It therefore behoved the Arab States and Israel to take bold measures to ensure the success of the programmes now envisaged and others which must be developed.
The United States representative said that no government could speak authoritatively on behalf of the refugees as a whole They had lost their homes, their possessions and, in most cases, their livelihood, and had been paid no compensation in exchange; few had thus far been permitted to return to their homes. For a variety of reasons they were in most instances unable to find work in the countries which had given them shelter. Many thousands were living in temporary shelters built by UNRWA close to the borders of Israel. Such a situation, he said, might give rise to eternal hatreds and contained the seeds of future wars.
UNRWA could hardly hope to assist hundreds of thousands of those refugees to earn their livelihood unless an immediate effort was made toward the maximum utilization of local resources. As a start, it should be possible to solve the problem of the Jordan waters on an equitable basis, giving a share of the benefits to those refugees who chose to settle in the Jordan watershed. In order to be fully informed about the possibilities of the development of the Jordan, UNRWA had secured the services of outstanding experts, whose report on the unified development of the Jordan deserved the most careful consideration. The suggestions in the report were sound, and it was hoped that other governments directly concerned would take the necessary measures to make the plan work. The problems involved in the use of international rivers were not new and could be solved by cooperation and mutual concession on the part of the countries concerned.
The representative of the United Kingdom noted that the most important advance in 1953 had been the enlargement of the Advisory Commission by the addition of Syria, Jordan and Egypt. That closer association of the host countries in the work of UNRWA was a further sign that they were ready to share the responsibilities of the Agency toward the refugees. Their presence on the Commission had already helped in smoothing over difficulties and would be of great assistance to the Agency in dealing with a number of administrative problems. The United Kingdom would also like Lebanon to be included on the Advisory Commission, in accordance with the wish that country had expressed.
The representative of the United Kingdom supported the suggestion in the annual report of the Director of UNRWA (A/2470) and the special report of the Director and the Advisory Commission (A/2470/Add.l) that administrative responsibility for relief work should be gradually transferred to the host governments.
The United Kingdom Government, its representative said, welcomed the fact that the Agency had signed programme agreements with a number of States in the Near East. That was a hopeful sign and an important development. He noted with regret, however, that delays had occurred in the preparation and execution of major projects, a fact which had necessitated a revision of the Agency's programme. Accordingly, it was proposed in the joint draft resolution that the Agency's mandate should be extended until 30 June 1955, subject, of course, to a review of its programme at the General Assembly's ninth session. It was earnestly hoped that, in the meantime, everything possible would be done by UNRWA and the host governments to find acceptable projects which would assist the rehabilitation of the refugees. Employment on such projects would be of greater value to the refugees than relief and would allow a reduction in relief expenditure.
The representatives of France and Turkey emphasized the necessity of extending the Agency's mandate for another year and paid tribute to the Acting Director for his work. They expressed satisfaction at the conclusion of the four programme agreements.
The representatives of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, supported by the representatives of India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, stated that the presence of 872,000 refugees in the Arab countries presented a very urgent problem. Only a third of the registered refugees lived in Agency camps. The other two thirds, who had hitherto managed to find accommodation elsewhere, appeared to have exhausted their savings and were appealing to the Agency for shelter. Describing the deplorable living conditions in the Agency's camps in the winter, these representatives observed that, even if the Agency succeeded in finding accommodation for 87,000 additional persons in 1953, at least half the refugees would remain outside the camps.
Also, the Agency had never been able to provide for the refugees' clothing needs, which had been partially met only by the collection of clothing abroad.
With regard to paragraph 5 of the annual report, dealing with Arab refugees in Israel, they did not think it correct to call those Arabs refugees since they were still living in their own country, where they had been forcibly displaced by the Israel Government. UNRWA should not have assisted them, since in so doing it had assisted Israel, which had interned them in camps and had confiscated their property; the Agency had been right to rectify the situation by putting a Stop to all assistance to these persons.
These representatives maintained that the presence of refugees on the territory of the host countries had imposed great sacrifices on those countries. It had brought about a considerable drop in wages and hence in the standard of living.
Dealing with the assistance rendered by the host countries to the refugees, these representatives recalled that during the fiscal year 1953, the Egyptian Government, for example, had made a contribution of $1,440,228 towards direct relief and had also distributed the equivalent of $245,625 in kind.
Turning to the reintegration programme and the question of the $200 million fund for the implementation of the three-year plan, these representatives observed that the plan had been drawn up because of Israel's refusal to give effect to Assembly resolution 194(III), which dealt with repatriation. The Governments of three Arab countries had concluded with UNRWA four programme agreements, the object of which was to make approximately 300,000 refugees self-supporting. In signing those agreements, the governments concerned had dearly in mind the fact that the measures in question were no more than temporary and that in accepting the projects the refugees would not be renouncing any of their rights to repatriation or to compensation in due course. In that connexion, they stressed that resolution 513(VI) did not aim at providing a final solution to the problem and they stated that neither the funds contemplated in that resolution nor the periods allowed for the achievement of the projects were sufficient. Moreover, the land available in the host countries would not be adequate for complete settlement. Subsequently, they quoted from the Acting Director's annual report and the special report to show that the host countries would not be able to absorb all the refugees now on their territory and that the relief programme and the time-table for its implementation would have to be revised.
As to the health conditions of the refugees, these representatives stated that the expenditure of $3,294,000 mentioned in the report included expenditure on items that had nothing to do with medical care, since it was stated in the report that a large part of the total had been for maintenance and improvement of living conditions in the camps. They dealt at length with the health conditions of the refugees and quoted a report drafted by Dr. Etienne Berthet, the World Health Organization's expert on tuberculosis, on the extent of the danger of tuberculosis among the Syrian refugees.
They also recalled that the report referred to the basic ration1,500 calories a dayfor those refugees who received the full ration. Some received none; others received half rations. Moreover, while 872,000 refugees were on the UNRWA rolls, the number of rations was only 807,000. Several thousand refugees, including all the children between one and seven years of age, did not receive full rations, and the change in their diet had caused serious under-nutrition which threatened their health and future physique. However, as a result of inquiries by two experts from FAO and WHO into the food situation, the number of recipients of supplementary meals had been increased from 3 to 6 per cent of the rationed refugee population. It should be noted, they said, that, although medical examination revealed a serious danger of malnutrition, the medical officer could prescribe supplementary feeding only on condition that the total number of recipients did not exceed 6 per cent of the total refugee population.
Concerning the education of refugee children, these representatives stated that the account given in the report was not very clear, but it probably permitted the conclusion that, in 1953-54, 95,000 children would attend schools jointly organized by the Agency and UNESCO. Adding to that figure the number of children attending government and private schools in the host countries, it would be found that approximately 150,000 children would be receiving elementary education, that was to say, 75 per cent of the 200,000 children estimated by the Agency to be of primary school age. Therefore, the 95,000 entrants into the UNRWA-UNESCO schools during the 1953-54 school year would account for only 47.5 per cent of the total number of children attending school, and approximately two fifths of the 75 per cent would be refugee children attending private and government schools in the host countries.
Furthermore, it was stated, the number of refugees receiving assistance was estimated in the report to be approximately 872,000; that figure, however, did not take into account either the refugees living on the demarcation line between Jordan and Israel or those living on the frontiers between Gaza and Israel. Those Arabs, 250,000 in number, were known by the strange name of "economic refugees", and did not benefit regularly from the assistance described in the report, since they had not been driven from their homes. They had, however, been deprived of their property and should be granted the same assistance as other refugees.
Also, the unfavourable economic conditions obtaining in the host countries created an acute problem for the refugees. For example, 127,000 refugees had been settled in Lebanon, despite the poverty of its natural resources and the density of its population. Lebanon, which had made a particularly significant contribution towards the education of refugee children, had provided assistance amounting now to $9 million. The Committee should, therefore, not lose sight of the fact that the offer to resettle refugees in host countries could only be a temporary remedy.
Regarding the question of the administration of the relief programme, these representatives considered that it was not the responsibility of the host countries to undertake that administration even if they were able to do so. The principle of United Nations responsibility for the refugees was very important. Israel had a very special responsibility in the matter, for not only was that nation the direct cause of the problem but, in addition, it had despoiled the refugees of their property after having driven them out and persecuted them.
The attitude of the Arab States to the refugee problem was determined by the following principles:
(1) however effective relief measures might be, they were only a palliative;
(2) the only possible solution was to repatriate the refugees or to give fair compensation to those who did not wish to return to their homes in accordance with the General Assembly's resolutions, particularly resolution 194(111);
(3) the refugees' right to repatriation was a sacred one, deriving from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and from the Charter, and had been recognized by the United Nations;
(4) the refugees, together with the peoples of the Arab States, rejected any plan for their resettlement which would divert them from their permanent goal repatriationor cause them to be absorbed by the Arab countries.
The United States representative, it was said, had appealed to the Arab States and Israel to settle the problem between them. The Arab States were prepared to respond to that appeal if Israel was prepared to give effect to the General Assembly's resolutions. As the United States representative had stated, Israel ought, without delay, to take new measures to discharge the responsibilities it had accepted; it ought to reconsider the possibilities of repatriating the refugees and pay compensation to those who did not wish to return to their homes. Israel should respond to that appeal; so long as it continued to defy the United Nations, which had created it, the problem of the refugees would remain unsolved.
Most puzzling of all were the threats to reduce all aid to the innocent refugees unless Israel and the Arab States co-operated more fully, though there had been no similar statement on grants-in-aid to Israel. Israel would undoubtedly have respected the resolutions on Palestine if there had been firm insistence on right and justice, because Israel itself had wanted and accepted those resolutions after the fighting in Palestine had ended.
As for resettlement, the Acting Director had singled out for mention the agreements concluded with three of the four host countries, and had spoken of the refugees' hostility to the resettlement projects. In concluding, he had laid special emphasis on the possibilities offered by Syria, proposing the investment there of the balance of the $200 million fund, i.e., $89 million. But the material possibilities or economic potential offered by one country or another were not really the crux of the matter. The refugee problem was principally a political problem, the solution of which must be sought in Palestine, and nowhere else. That was the approach adopted by the United Nations and the solution which the refugees demanded. Any organ or government which sought to solve the problem by means other than repatriation would meet with resolute resistance from the refugees and the Arab countries.
The Agency's estimates were based on the assumption that sufficient projects would be found to attract a maximum number of refugees and that the projects would be carried out within the specified period. The past abandonment of projects, hardly begun, however, gave no grounds for optimism.
It was ridiculous and wrong to consider schemes for the settlement of Arab refugees involving the reclamation of deserts, schemes which would be dependent, as experience had proved, on many uncertain factors, which would require five or six years to complete and would constitute a burden. on many countries, while land and properties belonging to the refugees were being wrongly enjoyed by others or going to waste.
In conclusion, these representatives emphasized the following points:
(1) More than five years had elapsed since the Arab. refugees had been expelled from their lands and homes and their condition had scarcely improved.
(2) The resettlement of those refugees in the host countries was practically impossible; UNRWA could find work for only half their number.
(3) The Palestine problem was the principal cause of the present tension and instability in the Middle East; peace and security could not be restored in that area unless a just and equitable solution were found for that problem.
(4) Such a solution could only be forthcoming if Israel agreed to implement the United Nations resolutions concerning Palestine or if the United Nations itself brought the necessary pressure to bear on Israel to that effect.
Finally, they declared that, for want of any better text, they would vote for the joint draft resolution.
Reviewing the origins of the refugee question, the representative of Israel said that the problem had arisen because of the aggressive attack of the Arab countries on Israel. The flight of the Arab inhabitants from Israel had been a part of the Arab League's plan for the invasion of Palestine. The evacuees had been assured by Arab commanders and political leaders that their evacuation would be of short duration, that they would soon return in the wake of the victorious Arab armies and would regain not only their homes, but much booty in addition.
He asked those representatives who had urged Israel to admit a substantial number of Arab refugees to consider the consequences of such a course. The admission into Israel of thousands of Arabs from bitterly hostile States would endanger Israel's security, since the allegiance of the refugees would lie elsewhere. In 1949 Israel had indeed offered to admit 100,000 Arab refugees, a difficult and dangerous undertaking for a new and struggling State, but its offer had not even been considered by the Arab States. Conditions have since changed, however; hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants (including 120,000 from Iraq) had entered Israel and opportunities for absorption of refugees which had formerly existed were no longer available. Furthermore, the less circumspect Arab leaders had made it clear that their main purpose in introducing the Arab refugees into what would now be a strange environment for them was to encompass the destruction of Israel from within.
Turning to the interests of the Arab refugees themselves, he referred to the United Kingdom representative's statement, at the 61st meeting of the Ad Hoc Political Committee on 29 November 1950, that the Arab refugees would have a happier and more stable life if the bulk of them were resettled in Arab countries. That was still true, and if the Arab States rejected that solution it was because they were thinking in terms, not of the fate of the refugees themselves, but of political warfare.
He reminded the Egyptian and Lebanese representatives, who had referred to Israel's failure to comply with the repatriation provisions of resolution 194(III) that that obligation had been specifically conditional on two factors, practicability and peace. He strongly denied that his Government had ever contravened the terms of the resolution, the wording of which clearly showed that it did not give the Arab leaders freedom to introduce refugees as a hostile element into Israel.
The representative of Israel referred to the circumstances which had led to the foundation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the programme which it had set out to accomplish. He also recalled the acceptance by the United Nations in 1950 of the principle of resettlement of the refugees and their integration into the economic life of the Middle East by means of a reintegration fund for the permanent re-establishment of the refugees and their removal from relief. That primary purpose of resolution 393(V) seemed to have been forgotten by Arab representatives who had referred to it.
Referring to the report of the Agency, the representative of Israel said that its most striking feature was the statement that the registered number of refugees was almost exactly the same as it had been at the end of 1951. It was clear that the mandate given to UNRWA to solve the refugee problem within three years could not be fulfilled. The report now proposed a six-year programme, and the Acting Director considered that even at the end of that Period nearly 500.000 refugees would still require relief. A number of significant paragraphs in the report showed where the blame lay for the Agency's failure to carry out its programme.
It was clear, in the first place, that, given the funds, there were great possibilities for large-scale settlement and development in certain Arab countries; but the report admitted that little progress had been made on the two schemes described as major ones, the Yarmuk and Sinai irrigation schemes. Only the former had even reached the survey stage. The report pointed out that there were considerable possibilities in Syria for development on the scale required, but it was indicated that the Syrian Government had refused permission for preliminary surveys to be made in the areas in question. The report also stated that investment of the kind contemplated would tend to strengthen the host country's economy and in turn to attract additional capital. The impression which he had received from the Syrian representative's statement was that it was practically an infringement of Syrian sovereignty for the Agency to make any suggestion with regards to the use of Syrian lands for refugee settlement. It was astonishing that after complaints by Syria and other Arab States about the plight of Arab refugees, they were unwilling to do anything constructive to help in solving the problem. Iraq, for example, needed not more territory but more people and could, at a conservative estimate, readily settle 350,000 refugees on two to three million acres of land. But there had been a flat refusal.
There had been comment from Arab delegations on the Israel Government's acceptance of responsibility for all Palestine refugees in Israel originally in UNRWA's care; it had been objected that the persons in question were not in fact refugees. But the report of the Agency showed that, of 45,800 refugees in Israel registered with UNRWA in June 1950, 22,000 had been removed from the Agency's rolls and absorbed in the Israel economy. Since then Israel had accepted responsibility for all the rest. The Agency had defined a refugee as a person normally resident in Palestine who had lost his home and his livelihood as a result of the hostilities, and who was in need. The Arab States must either accept the Agency's definition of a refugee or remove from the Agency's lists a large number of persons outside Israel's borders. Those now registered with the Agency totalled 872,000, yet not more than 600,000 had left Israel territory, whilst the total Arab population, including Bedouin, of what was now the State of Israel was shown by the records of the administration of the Mandatory Power to have been under 800,000. The present Arab population of Israel was about 180,000; consequently some 600,000 Arabs, at most, had fled the country. Part of the discrepancy, say 12 per cent, between the 872,000 Arabs now receiving relief and the 600,000 original refugees could be accounted for by natural increase. In addition, as indicated by UNRWA, destitute Arabs in neighbouring countries had succeeded in being included on the ration lists, whilst attempts to conceal deaths of refugees in order to continue drawing rations for them had been made and appeared to have been aided by some Arab authorities. The balance was accounted for by persons who had always lived outside Israel but who had qualified for relief under the definition.
The plight of many refugees was a direct result of the Arab policy of economic warfare against Israel, which destroyed possibilities of normal economic exchange and livelihood for many living in countries, such as Jordan, whose economies were complementary to that of Israel.
He wished, he said, to reiterate his Government's declared policy of readiness to pay compensation for abandoned Arab lands, although the Arab blockade sought to destroy Israel's ability to pay such compensation. The Conciliation Commission had been informed on 7 October 1953 that preparatory work for the implementation of that policy was under way. His Government's undertaking to allocate urgently needed foreign currency for unblocking the accounts in Israel of Arab refugees was proceeding satisfactorily.
As to the idea that the refugees' one aim was to return to Israel, that country was vastly different from the country they had known. Moreover, ceaseless propaganda by the host countries had led to a paralysis of the refugees' efforts on their own behalf and an inability to envisage any solution other than repatriation to Israel.
In conclusion, he declared that the key to the problem lay with those who had created it, the Arab countries. The United Nations had shown itself ready to do its share, and it was now for the host countries to make the contribution which only they could make to the solution of the problem.
The representatives of Australia, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands and New Zealand declared, among other things, that their delegations were particularly glad to note that Syria, Jordan and Egypt were already taking part in the work of the Advisory Commission and that Lebanon would soon be invited to do likewise. Such an expansion of the Commission would guarantee the Agency the full co-operation of the host countries, without whose support the Agency would be unable to overcome the numerous difficulties to which the Acting Director had drawn attention in his report.
They stated further that the negative attitude of the refugees toward the question of resettlement might be modified if the refugees could be made fully to understand that those projects in no way affected their rights to repatriation or compensation as recognized in General Assembly resolution 194(III).
Furthermore, there were serious obstacles to be overcome if tangible progress were to be achieved in implementing the provisions of the proposed three-year plan. As the special report of the Director and the Advisory Commission showed, rehabilitation of all Arab refugees in existing economic and political circumstances was, for all practical purposes, impossible; the projects contemplated could not be expected to provide for more than a proportion of the refugee population.
Also, certain speakers had stressed the fact that the only real and just solution of the problem was the repatriation of all the refugees and had mentioned the generous aid their countries had given in assisting the refugees. Without abandoning any question of principle as to right of the refugees to repatriation, it was nevertheless fair to urge an even greater measure of co-operation from the host countries in carrying through the implementation of such projects as would enable as large a number of refugees as possible to become self-supporting. An appeal should also be made to Israel to adopt the same humanitarian outlook.
The New Zealand representative considered that it was incumbent upon Israel to contribute to the solution of the refugee problem. That contribution should include the return of a significant number of refugees to Israel and the payment of compensation to those refugees who decided not to return home. He suggested that, while there was no exact analogy, something might be learned from the experience of Greece in dealing with the great flood of refugees 30 years ago. Similarly, he wondered whether the return to Israel of some of the refugees driven from their homes would be as great an embarrassment as the Israel Government claimed. During the discussion which had preceded the adoption of the 1947 resolution, it had been emphasized that the Palestinian Jews were of the same race as the Arab inhabitants of that region and that the two peoples should therefore be able to live in peace in the new State of Israel.
The representative of the Netherlands observed that to attempt to go back to the origin of the conflict in order to determine responsibility for the present situation would be a retrograde step. However bitter the feelings in the Arab world, the fate of the refugees would not be served in any way by apportioning the blame. Though the Assembly's decision concerning the right of the Arab refugees to repatriation and the compensation due for loss of property should not be questioned, it was, however, questionable whether the repatriation of those refugees would genuinely be in their interest. The situation had changed profoundly since the adoption of the Assembly's resolution of 11 December 1948. The return of the refugees to Israel might worsen the economic situation in that country, and their plight might be even sorrier than it was at present.
The representatives of Colombia, Liberia, Peru, and the Union of South Africa expressed their general agreement with the terms of the joint draft resolution and declared their readiness to support it.
At the 30th meeting of the Ad Hoc Political Committee on 12 November 1953, the joint draft resolution was adopted by 46 votes to none, with 5 abstentions.
(2) Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly
At its 458th plenary meeting on 27 November 1953, the General Assembly, without discussion, adopted the draft resolution proposed by the Ad Hoc Political Committee (A/2558). Part A was adopted by 52 votes to none, with 5 abstentions, and Part B by 51 votes to none, with 6 abstentions. Resolution 720 (VIII) read:
"The General Assembly,
"Recalling its resolutions 194(III) of 11 December 1948, 302(IV) of 8 December 1949, 393(V) of 2 December 1950, 513(VI) of 26 January 1952 and 614(VII) of 6 November 1952,
"Having examined the report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the special report of the Director and the Advisory Commission of that Agency,
"Noting that programme agreements envisaging the commitment of approximately $120 million have been signed by UNRWA with the governments of several Near Eastern countries, pursuant to the plan endorsed by the General Assembly in resolution 513(VI), but that expectations as regards the execution of the projects programme have not been realized,
"Noting also that the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern,
"1. Decides, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of resolution 194(111), or to the provisions of paragraph 4 of resolution 393(V), that the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East shall be extended until June 1955, and that its programme shall be again subject to review at the ninth session of the General Assembly;
"2. Authorizes the Agency to adopt a budget for relief amounting to $24.8 million for the fiscal year ending 30 June 1954, subject to such adjustments as may be attributable to refugee employment on projects, or as may be necessary to maintain adequate standards, and to adopt a provisional budget for relief of $18 million for the fiscal year ending 30 June 1955;
"3. Considers that the projects fund previously authorized by the General Assembly in paragraph 2 of resolution 513(VI) should be maintained at $200 million until 30 June 1955, and urges UNRWA and the governments of the Near Eastern countries concerned to continue to seek acceptable projects to enable the fund to be utilized for the purposes for which it is intended;
"4. Requests the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to seek the funds required to meet the current needs of the relief programmes and to invite governments to take into account the need for the additional pledges which will be required to meet the total programme now established at $292.8 million.
"The General Assembly,
"Having noted that the present membership of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, established pursuant to paragraph 8 of General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, is composed of representatives of Egypt, France, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America,
"Noting further that it is in the general interest that other contributing countries join the Advisory Commission,
"Authorizes the Advisory Commission to increase its membership by not more than two additional members."
/See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 309.
/Paragraph 2 prohibits the commission of any warlike act by either party against the other.
/Article V of the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement created a demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel. The administration of that zone was entrusted to the Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission and the United Nations Observers attached thereto.
/The resolution (S/2322) calls upon Egypt to terminate restrictions on the passage of international shipping through the Suez Canal. For text, see Y.U.N., 1951, p. 299.
/Article VIII of the Agreement set up a special committee of each party for formulating agreed plans and arrangements to deal with such problems as resumption of the normal functioning of the cultural and humanitarian institutions on Mt. Scopus as well as free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions.
/This resolution (S/1907), inter alia, reminded Egypt, Israel and Jordan that the Armistice Agreements were binding, and authorized the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to recommend steps to prevent infiltration of nomadic Arabs across international frontiers. For text, see Y.U.N., 1950, p. 320.
/At the 656th meeting on 22 January 1954, the Security Council voted on a second revision of the three-Power draft resolution (S/3151/Rev.2). There were 7 votes in favour, 2 against (USSR and Lebanon) and 2 abstentions (China and Brazil). The resolution was not adopted due to the negative vote of one of the permanent members of the Council.
/For text, see Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 315-16.
/"For text, see Y.U.N., 1948-49, pp. 174-76.
/By this resolution, the General Assembly resolved,
, that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date and that compensation should be paid to those not wishing to return.
/By this resolution, the General Assembly established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, for text, see Y.U.N., 1948-49, pp. 211-12.
/By this resolution, the General Assembly established a reintegration fund, of which 530 million was to be contributed by 30 June 1952. For text, see Y.U.N., 1950, p. 327.
/By this resolution, the General Assembly endorsed the programme recommended by the Agency for the relief and reintegration of Palestine refugees, envisaging. the expenditure of $50 million for relief and $200 million for reintegration over a period of three years starting 1 July 1951.
/By this resolution, the General Assembly increased the relief budget for the fiscal year ending June 1953 to $23 million and provided for a budget of 518 million for the fiscal year ending June 1954, subject to review at the eighth session of the General Assembly. For text, see Y.U.N., 1952, p. 261.