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4 October 1948
CABLEGRAM DATED 3 OCTOBER 1948 FROM RALPH BUNCHE TO THE
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNING TRUCE ARRANGEMENTS
For information Security Council:
Following is text of the note which is being communicated today, third October to the governments of Egypt and Transjordan and to the provisional government of Israel in an effort to stop violations of demilitarized red cross and neutral zones in Jerusalem by patrol parties and to ensure the preservation of that area as a demilitarized zone irrespective of the presence of red cross personnel there. Alternative would be a grave risk of serious fighting in Jerusalem in view of the strategic location of government house in that area.
Arrangement for the demilitarization of this area was previously reported to the Security Council by late mediator in the cable of 4 September 1948 (S/992).
The text of the note is as follows:
“As a result of recent incidents, the situation regarding the observance of the decisions affecting that part of Jerusalem comprising the area known as the red cross zone (including government house, the Jewish agricultural school, and the government Arab college), and the neutral zone around it, gives cause for anxiety. The decisions of the central truce supervision board in cases number six and seven relating to the two zones were approved by the late mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, and were communicated to the three governments directly concerned, namely the governments of Egypt and Transjordan, and the provisional government of Israel, all three of whom accepted the decisions. As a result of this acceptance, there was on four September a voluntary and simultaneous withdrawal of the armed forces of the parties to the new lines laid down, and the destruction of fortifications was begun within the area. Lately, however, patrol parties of both sides have frequently entered the area in violation of the terms of the decisions. In view of these incidents, the three governments concerned have been approached and have all given assurances that their local commanders will be instructed to stop these practices, provided that such instructions will be simultaneously effective for all parties.
“I accordingly requested the three governments to issue the necessary instructions to the local commanders to take effect as of Wednesday six October 1948 at 1200 hours noon GMT, and to confirm to me at Rhodes by Tuesday 5 October, that such instructions have been issued.
“I have been informed by the representative of the international red cross committee that it is his intention at an early date to withdraw red cross personnel from the area. This withdrawal does not affect the present position as regards the demilitarization and neutralization of the two zones, as determined by the decisions in cases number six and seven. Any form of military action in the area would constitute a violation of the truce.
“In view of all the circumstances and especially the vital importance of this area in the maintenance of the truce in Jerusalem, the Chief of staff has been instructed to increase the number of United Nations observers in the area, and to fly the United Nations flag on all buildings within the area.”