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UNITED
NATIONS
S

      Security Council
Distr.
UNRESTRICTED
S/768
22 May 1948

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

CABLEGRAM DATED 18 MAY 1948 FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL ADDRESSED TO THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF SYRIA, AND REPLY THERETO SUBMITTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF SYRIA AT THE 301ST MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL

THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 295TH MEETING HELD ON 18 MAY DECIDED TO ADDRESS TO YOUR GOVERNMENT FOLLOWING QUESTIONS QUOTE

(A) ARE ARMED ELEMENTS OF YOUR ARMED FORCES OR IRREGULAR FORCES SPONSORED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT NOW OPERATING (l) IN PALESTINE, (2) IN AREAS (TOWNS,CITIES, DISTRICTS) OF PALESTINE WHERE THE- JEWS ARE IN THE MAJORITY.

(B) IF SO, WHERE ARE SUCH FORCES NOW LOCATED AND UNDER WHAT COMMAND ARE THEY OPERATING, AND WHAT ARE THEIR MILITARY OBJECTIVES.

(C) ON WHAT BASIS IS IT CLAIMED THAT SUCH FORCES ARE ENTITLED TO ENTER (l) PALESTINE, (2) AREAS (TOWS, CITIES, DISTRICTS) OF PALESTINE WHERE THE JEWS ARE IN THE MAJORITY, AND CONDUCT OPERATIONS THERE.

(D) WHO IS NOW RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXERCISE OF POLITICAL FUNCTIONS IN THE AREAS OF PALESTINE WHERE THE ARABS ARE IN THE MAJORITY.

(E) IS SUCH AUTHORITY NOT NEGOTIATING WITH JEWISH AUTHORITIES ON A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IN PALESTINE.

(F) HAVE THE JEWISH FORCE VIOLATED YOUR FRONTIERS AND PENETRATED YOUR TERRITORY.


REPLY

Q. (a) Are armed elements of your armed forces or irregular forces sponsored by your Government now operating

(1) in Palestine

A Yes.

(2) in areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Jews are in majority

A. No.

Q. (b) If so, where are such forces now located and under what command are they operating and what are their military objectives.

A. They are now located in the village of Sanakh south of Lake Tiberias (an Arab village). They are under the Syrian command. Their military objectives are to restore law and order, to help their brethren, the Arabs of Palestine, in-suppressing the armed insurrection of the Zionist bands of terrorists, to repatriate the Arab refugees amounting now to a quarter of a million, expelled from their homes of Tiberias, Safad, Akka, Haifa, Jaffa, and other towns and villages, to enable the people of Palestine to establish a democratic regime for the future Government comprising all its population after putting an end to the state of anarchy now prevailing in Palestine. These operations are not directed against the Jews of Palestine but against the armed insurrection of the Zionist bands who intend to create for the Jewish minority a separate independent State in spite of the wishes of the majority in the country. The intention of the Syrian Government is to help the Palestinians to set up the democratic State of Palestine under which all inhabitants, Moslems, Christians, Jews and others may live side by side in harmony and peace enjoying the same rights and bearing the same obligations with strict and perfect security of the Holy Places and free access to them.

Q. (c) On what basis is it claimed that such forces are entitled to enter

(1) Palestine

A. On the basis of considering Palestine an Arab territory linked with Syria and with the other Arab countries around it by all social, economic, political, racial, geographical, linguistic and traditional inseparable links. Palestine is also an associate member in the Arab League which is a regional arrangement obliged to settle disputes within its area. The prevailing anarchy in Palestine reacted gravely on the security and order in Syria, especially when enormous hordes of destitute refugees flooded into Syria seeking refuge, Furthermore the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine, which is the only legitimate organ in Palestine entitled to assume directive authority in the country after the termination of the Mandate, requested our military help. If we do not respond to this appeal the surviving Arabs in and out of the area coveted by the Zionists to be their own will be condemned to annihilation.

(2) Areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Jews are in the majority, and conduct operations there.

A. Till now our armed forces did not operate in such areas where the Jews are, in the majority, but we do not admit the principle that a Jewish majority in any town is entitled to act independently of the majority of the country.

Q. (d) Who is now responsible for the exercise of political functions in the areas of Palestine where the Arabs are in the majority.

A. Arab armed forces have now taken over control and authority with the object of establishing a permanent Government based on the will of the population in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of tho United Nations.

Q. (e) Is such authority now negotiating with Jewish authorities on a political settlement in Palestine.

The proclamation of a Jewish separate State in a part of Palestine and the atrocious acts committed by their forces to materialize their outstanding aspirations blocked the way to any negotiation to that end.

Q. (f) Have the Jewish forces violated your frontiers and penetrated your territory.

A. Yes, they penetrated on several occasions before and after the termination of the British Mandate, blow up bridges and withdrew.


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