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General Assembly

21 January 1948


(Press reports received from the Jewish Agency)

21 January 1948
In response to the demand of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lebanese House of Representatives, the Premier and the Defence Minister of the Lebanon have presented to the House a report on the extent of current aid by the Lebanese Government to the Arabs of Palestine.

Arab Governments are determined to fight the partition of Palestine with all their force, the Premier declared in his report, according to all Lebanese newspapers. He emphasized that the Arab States have not recognized and will never recognise the United Nations decision on Palestine.

Lebanese Representatives also heard the Defence Minister’s “eye-witness account” of Arab volunteers’ attacks on Jewish settlements at Huleh. These attacks, he said, would be strengthened and would take the shape of a real “war” in the near future. He added that all activities, such as the collection of funds, registration and training of volunteers, assembling of arms, etc., are being supervised by himself and the Syrian Defence Minister in accordance with the resolutions adopted at the recent Premiers’ Conference in Cairo.

The Defence Minister also reported that the Syrian Government has formulated its reply to the British representations against the “invasion of Palestine from Syria. As a result of consultations with the governments of Arab League states, it was decided that the Syrian Government would emphasize that it is not in a position to restrain the feelings of its people. At the suggestion of Faris al-Khouri„ Syria’s chief delegate to the UN, the Government will at the same time declare that it will continue to respect international relations as far as possible.

Meanwhile, reliable Arab sources report that hundreds of Syrians and Lebanese have crossed the frontier into Palestine with a large quantity of modern arms, particularly sub-machine guns, grenades and rifles. The troops are concentrated in the Safad and Haifa areas.

It is also reported that the Mufti has succeeded in sending a large consignment of arms from Egypt to the Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem areas. The January 14th edition of Al Masri quoted the Syrian Defence Minister as saying that training and arming in Syria is progressing satisfactorily and that an all-out attack against the Jewish community of Palestine can be expected in one month. Fawzi Kawukui, leader of the Arab “People’s Army,” has also mentioned February 15th as the date of a general attack against the Jews.

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