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20 March 1950



Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Monday, 20 March 1950, at 4 p.m.

Mr. de BOISANGER (France)Chairman
Mr. PALMER (United States of America)
Mr. YALCIN (Turkey)
Mr. de AZCARATE.Principal Secretary

Modus vivendi relating to the armistice agreement between Egypt and Israel

The CHAIRMAN announced that the Commission had received from United Nations Headquarters the text of the modus vivendi concluded between Egypt and Israel on 22 February last.

The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY said that a study of the text in question confirmed the impression that no action had been taken on some of the Egyptian proposals concerning Gaza. The aim of the modus vivendi was to abolish the no-man’s-land north of Gaza by placing part of the area under the control of the Israeli forces and part under that of the Egyptian forces. In addition the armistice line had been adjusted in the south so as to bring an Arab village under the control of the Egyptian forces.

Mr. PALMER (United States of America) observed that, since the Israeli delegation considered that the Egyptian proposals concerning the Gaza refugees no longer applied in view of the conclusion of the modus vivendi, it should be informed by the Commission that that view was erroneous.

The Commission should confirm the observations which it had previously communicated to the Israeli delegation and call the latter’s attention to the various matters outstanding which might be examined by a Joint Committee.

YALCIN (Turkey) supported that proposal.

The CHAIRMAN requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft letter to Mr. Rafael, member of the Israeli delegation, recalling the Commission’s earlier observation. Confirming that the modus vivendi did not cover all points in the Egyptian proposals and adding that the Commission was ready to examine with the Israeli delegation a method of approach to the points outstanding, whether through a joint committee or by some other procedure. The draft would be circulated to all members of the Commission by the Secretariat before being transmitted .to Mr. Rafael.

Letter from the Director for Co-ordination of Specialized Agencies to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The CHAIRMAN intimated that the Principal Secretary had received a letter from Mr. Martin Hill informing him officially of the appointment of General Kennedy as Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, announcing that he would arrive in Geneva together with the members of the Advisory Commission on 17 April 1950 and requesting the Commission to get in touch with the new Director in due course.

He thought that the Principal Secretary should reply stating that the Commission was prepared to meet General Kennedy.

The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY observed that it might be advisable to prepare a programme of conversations between General Kennedy and his colleagues, on the one hand, and the representatives of organizations such as the Quakers and the Red Cross, on the other.

Mr. PALMER (United States of America) pointed out that Mr. Parminter, Acting Director of UNRPR, had just returned from the United States. He had no doubt been in touch with General Kennedy and prepared a programme for his stay in Geneva. It was desirable that General Kennedy and the members of the Advisory Commission should meet the Commission prior to their other conversations.

Replying to the Chairman, the PRINCIPAL SECRETARY said he did not think there was any special question to be taken up. The Director of the new Agency would nevertheless find it useful to have information on outstanding questions, in the form of a general political table. The help which the Commission could afford him would necessarily take the form of explanations or replies to questions. So far as the purely technical work to be carried out by the Agency was concerned, the Commission could give no direct assistance. The members of the Agency would have to be briefed on the resettlement question and on the attitude of Governments towards it.

The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Secretariat should prepare a note on the work of the Commission with regard to the problems of frontiers, refugees etc., which would be submitted in the form of a summary of the Commission’s reports to the Secretary-General.

Mr. PALMER (United States of America) thought that a summary of that kind would be very useful. A preliminary meeting with the Director of the Agency and the members of the Advisory Commission might be held with a view to transmitting the summary to them together with oral comments if necessary. A further meeting might be held to enable the Conciliation Commission to reply to any questions arising out of their study of the summary.

The meeting rose at 5 p.m.

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Modus vivendi se rapportant à la convention d'armistice entre l' Egypte et l'Etat d'Israël - 137 ème séance du CCNUP (Genève) - Compte Rendu Français