U N I T E D N A T I O N S
8 July 1948
TELEGRAM FROM THE UNITED NATIONS MEDIATOR DATED 8 JULY ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNING THE STATEMENT OF THE MEDIATOR ON THE ARAB AND
JEWISH REPLIES TO THE MEDIATOR'S PROPOSAL FOR PROLONGATION OF TRUCE
Statement of the Mediator on the Arab and Jewish replies:
The replies from the Arab and Jewish representatives have been received, the Jewish replies were handed to me by Mr. Shertok in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon 7 July, the Arab replies, the full text of which have not been received, were cabled to me at Haifa in paraphrase by my representative in Cairo who received them early this morning from Azzam Pasha.
These replies related to the following questions:
1. The prolongation of the Truce.
2. A temporary cease fire in Jerusalem as a means of concluding arrangements for the demilitarization of that city.
3. The demilitarization of the Haifa refineries, terminals and port area.
The Jewish reply agreed to a prolongation of the Truce for a period of thirty days from 6 a.m. GMT on Friday, 9 July on the understanding that the conditions of the prolonged Truce would be substantially the same as those governing the existing one.
The Arab reply, the translated text of which has not been received, states that the Arabs are not prepared to accept a prolongation of the Truce under present conditions in view of their experience of the past four weeks.
A request had also been presented to the parties that, in the event there was no agreement on the prolongation of the Truce, a three-day extension would be granted in order to facilitate the evacuation of the UN observers and their equipment. The Jewish reply accepted this proposal, the Arab reply makes no specific reference to it and it is apparently rejected. Despite this apparent rejection of the three-day extension, however all necessary steps are being immediately taken for the safe evacuation of all UN observers and personnel and their equipment.
As regards the demilitarization of Jerusalem the Jewish reply has indicated a willingness to discuss this proposal and to accept an immediate cease fire in Jerusalem in order that a final decision might be reached on demilitarization since the precise meaning of the Arab reply to the proposal is not clear, a request has been made for clarification. I have also informed the Arab representatives of my willingness to meet with them in Cairo on Saturday to discuss a temporary cease fire in the whole city of Jerusalem looking toward further discussions concerning its demilitarization. I have also informed Mr. Shertok by telephone of my desire to carry on
similar discussions in Tel Aviv.
As regards the Haifa proposal the replies of the two parties are divergent as to indicate that there is no prospect of an agreement of this proposal.
I am disappointed that hostilities are to be resumed in Palestine since it appears quite impossible for me to obtain agreement of the two parties not to resume hostilities. I will now concentrate my efforts during the next few days on obtaining a cease fire in Jerusalem and its ultimate demilitarization. I will do my utmost to save Jerusalem and the Holy places from further destruction.
It is my intention to make a full report to the Security Council at a very early date. I do not consider my mission as Mediator to be at an end as a result of this temporary set back. I will continue to work on the on the task assigned to me by the May 14th resolution of the General Assembly with a view to attaining at the earliest possible day a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine".
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