Question of Palestine home
28 July 1958
ADDENDUM TO THE REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE
UNITED NATIONS TRUCE SUPERVISION ORGANIZATION IN
PALESTINE ON THE FIRING INCIDENT OF 26 MAY 1958 ON
MOUNT SCOPUS (DOCUMENT S/4030)
Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to circulate for the information of the members of the Security Council the attached addendum to the Report by Major-General Carl C. von Horn, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine dated 7 June 1958, concerning the firing incident of 26 May 1958 on Mount Scopus, near Jerusalem. The addendum consists of two sections: the first is a summary of the results of a ballistics test; the second is a report on the problem of the road between Issawiya village, on Mount Scopus, and Jerusalem.
ADDENDUM BY THE CHIEF OF STAFF
Results of the ballistics test
1. In paragraph 57 of my report of 7 June 1958 on the firing incident of 26 May 1958 on Mount Scopus, I indicated that I had ordered a ballistic examination with regard to the circumstances of the death of Lt. Colonel Flint, my representative for Mount Scopus. This examination has been performed by the State Criminalistics Institute in Stockholm Sweden, and I am herewith reporting on its results.
2. The examination has revealed that the bullet which killed Lt. Colonel Flint was a direct shot. It is thus to be considered as established that Lt Colonel Flint was shot by a bullet fired from Jordanian-controlled territory.
3. It has not been possible to establish from what distance the bullet was fired.
4. It has been established that the bullet was fired by a Lee-Enfield .303 calibre rifle.
5. It has been established that one at least of the Israeli policemen killed during the incident was shot by a bullet fired by another rifle of the same type.
Road between Issawiya village and Jerusalem
1. As indicated in the foot-note to paragraph 78 of the report of the Chief of Staff on the 26 May incident, the only reasonable road available to the villagers of Issawiya was completely closed on 1 June and the villagers were forced into paths on the slopes and hills next to the road. Thus the situation culminating in the 26 May incident became, by virtue of the closing of the road, even more explosive than before, and was a serious backward step from the improved condition foreseen in the Urrutia report of 18 January.
2. On a visit to Mount Scopus, Mr. Andrew W. Cordier as specially-designated representative of the Secretary-General, and the Chief of Staff of UNTSO, Major-General Carl C. von Horn, engaged in a careful investigation of the road. It was difficult to see, as the Israel authorities alleged, that security and safety factors were considerations in the closing of the road. For example, at the point where the road comes closest to the Hadassah Hospital there is a high bluff beside the road facing the hospital, a high and secure fence separates the hospital from the road and trees further obscure the view of the hospital.
3. The road, although itself in a very poor condition and not properly maintained, is the only reasonable link between the village and Jerusalem. It is a matter of elementary propriety that the villagers should enjoy the continuous use of this road. No reason had been given that could explain the policy of forcing the villagers into the stony, thorny and uneven terrain off the road and certainly it could only add to what must seem to the villagers a pattern of inconvenience and suffering. Such a policy could in no sense be regarded as contributing to the tranquillity of the area. On the contrary, it added gravely to an already explosive situation and required immediate rectification.
4. In consultations with Israel authorities the specially-designated representative requested an immediate opening of the road to normal vehicular and pedestrian traffic in its own right and as a contribution to an atmosphere of general improvement in the various tensions current on Mount Scopus. On Friday 20 June the Israeli officials agreed to open the road two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. The specially-designated representative indicated that a partial opening of the road would be difficult to administer and would carry with it possibilities of further incidents and aggravations. If this partial opening should be associated with a commitment for the full opening of the road at the beginning of the following week it would be acceptable subject to a demonstration of complete restraint by both the villagers and the Israeli police.
5. On Friday 20 June the villagers gave such assurances. On the Israel side assurances were sought for general restraint including the cessation of threats are the throwing of stones by the Israeli police at the women and children going to and from the village. The Israel authorities, who have access to full information from their own personnel on the spot had promised, subject to a weekend of calm, to give consideration on Monday 23 June to the full opening of the road.
6. Before his departure from Jerusalem, the specially-designated representative of the Secretary-General was informed by the Israel Foreign Office that the road would be open during the daylight hours as from Monday 23 June. Mr. Andrew W. Cordier maintained that there was no reason why the road should not be open twenty-four hours a day. The implied prohibition of night use carries with it possibilities of further incidents and aggravations.
7. Under these circumstances, the Chief of Staff reported the matter to the Secretary-General as herein stated.
8. The Secretary-General has since brought this question to the attention of the Government of Israel.