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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
20 August 1948
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/257
20 August 1948

CENTRAL TRUCE BOARD RELEASE FINDINGS ON TWO TRUCE VIOLATIONS


(The following was received today at the UN Headquarters from the Press Officer in Haifa).


The Central Truce Supervision Board today (20 August) released its first findings on two incidents based on complaints filed by Israel, Iraq, and Syrian authorities.

The first case deals with an Iraqi army attack on elevated land in the Tall Ar Radgha area on the Iraqi front south of Beisan on 1 August. The findings state that after the complaint was filed by United Nations observers and temporary truce lines fixed, the Iraqi army complied with United Nations directives to withdraw from the lines that they had secured. The Israel army, however, violated the United Nations directive by moving into the positions from which the Iraqi army had withdrawn.

In the light of these facts the Board decided that, although the Iraqi army was responsible for the outbreak of hostilities in that area, it withdrew and complied with the United Nations directive. The Israel Army forfeited its right to this area by violating the United Nations directive, and the Board ruled that the area should become a no-man's land.

Case two deals with an engagement on Hill Kh Al Azaziyat on the Syrian front on 18 July. The findings state that Syrians attacked and captured Israel positions on that hill on the day and hour that the cease-fire, suggested by the Mediator, was scheduled to take effect. Israeli forces later counter-attacked with infantry and air-force. These counter-attacks were repulsed by the Syrians who employed defensive tactics only.

The Board ruled that the Syrian Army took the hill prior to the Mediator's cease-fire taking effect, and that it was entitled to retain its position on the hill. The Board also considered that counter-attacks constituted a serious breach of the truce.

These findings and decisions have been forwarded to the Governments of Israel, Iraq and Syria. They are based on the material available, and the parties concerned are free to comment, reject or accept the decisions.

After further scrutiny in the light of possible new facts, the Board will review the situation to uphold or modify its findings.

Reports from Jerusalem state that there has been a noticeable relative slackening of activities on both sides, except for sniping and sporadic machine-gun fire. The Jews fired mortars early this morning in the St. George sector while the Arabs re-took the house that they had previously evacuated in the no-man's land sector.

Reports disclose that Arab Legion Commander Lash requested that the Jews should withdraw from the recently occupied Government House in the no-man's land area, and also asked permission to withdraw Arab irregulars from the Jerusalem area in order to replace them with Arab Legion regulars. Previously the Jews had apparently made the same request.

The exchange, when finally agreed upon, will be made under United Nations supervision.

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