Question of Palestine home
11 June 1967
Supplemental Information Received by the Secretary-General
1. The information here presented covers the period since my last oral report to the Security Council near the close of its meeting early in the morning of 11 June.
2. The cease-fire arrangement as proposed and negotiated by the Chief of Staff, UNTSO, and accepted by the parties and which went into effect at 1630 hours GMT on 10 June is being observed and no serious breaches had been reported in that period up to 1500 hours EDT on 11 June. I have sent to General Bull the following message of appreciation:
"I convey to you my great appreciation of the initiative and skill you have
demonstrated in your cease-fire arrangement in implementation of the Security
Council's demand for a cease-fire between Israel and Syria. It is rare,
indeed, that a cease-fire can be self-executing. You have provided the
intermediary, co-ordination and observance which were essential to bring the
cease-fire into reality. U Thant"
3. As envisaged in General Bull's cease-fire arrangement, United Nations Military Observers on the morning of 11 June were deployed. General Bull reports:
/ refer deployment of United Nations teams in Israel-Syria FDLS.
/ Damascus based teams located Sasa overnight deployed at first light. Tiberias teams were delayed due to lack of agreement with Israel on proposal to re-establish Kuneitra Control Centre.
At 0330Z UN-75 to Damascus reported location as having reached Fania.
At 0435Z TCC
/ team UN-183 departed Tiberias for Banat Yaqub-Kuneitra.
At 0500Z team UN-75 reported location at approx. MR 227-292 and proceeding SW.
Team UN-94 reported location at approx. MR 274-288 and proceeding SW on main road to Kuneitra. So far no breach of the cease-fire. FDLS not yet located.
At 0510Z UN-94 met Israel patrol on main Kuneitra road at road function approx. 1 km east of Kuneitra. UN-94 now returning to main road junction and will follow the road west through Ahmediye until further contact is made. UN-75 is just west of Buqaata MR 223-290 having proceeded from the east Kuneitra checkpost, north to Joubbata el-Khachab then west to present location.
At 0520Z, second team, call sign UN-56 departed TCC.
At 0542Z, three additional teams, call signs 77, 142 and 203 left Damascus for general area between northern MR 279-233."
Following further sitreps on deployment of United Nations teams in Israel-Syria FDLS:
Sitrep at 0730Z: UN-75 in contact with IDF
/ at Buqaata (approx. MR 2231-2896).
Sitrep at 0802Z: UN-56 and UN-157 are proceeding with Lt. Col. Spann (senior Israel representative) to a more eastern location. New position to be reported on arrival.
Sitrep at 0815Z: UN-153 who is at KCC
/ received the following signed certificate from Lt. Cot. Spann (SIR)
/ To whom it nay concern: two United Nations Observers were authorized by HQ IDF to remain in the United Nations building Kuneitra. Please do not disturb them in their work'. This certificate is in both English and Hebrew and both certificates signed by Lt. Col. Spann (SIR)."
"Following sitreps refer deployment of United Nations teams in Israel-Syrian FDLS. Sitrep at 110915Z: At 0852Z one short burst of lmg
/ or smg
/ or single rifle heard from SE of Kuneitra.
At 0858Z several bursts of smg or lmg heard from same direction. Estimated distance between 500 to 700 metres.
At 0902Z two explosions heard in same direction.
At 0902Z one single shot heard in SE direction in outskirts of Kuneitra."
"Sitreps on deployment of nine United Nations teams in Israel-Syrian FLDS: Sitrep at 1031Z: Location of UNMO
/ teams (2 UNMOs each).
UN-75 north of Kuneitra near Buqaata.
UN-56 and UN-94 (two different teams) proceeding towards rv at Kuneitra by-pass.
UN-34 and UN-20 (two different teams) are both standing by at east Kuneitra check point.
UN-203 and UN-142 and UN-77 (three different teams) at OP
/ Echo check point.
UN-183 is at KCC."
"Following information just received from Tiberias:
Kuneitra control centre back on the air at 0752Z. All wireless equipment in good condition and operative. Kuneitra control centre in contact with both Tiberias and Damascus."
4. On the morning of 11 June I also received from General Bull the following messages:
"I will see Mr. Sasson at 1130Z 11 June to discuss the following:
a. Israel authorities slowness in allowing deployment of UNMO teams from Tiberias. Israel authorities have not provided an adequate number of LOs
/ to properly cover cease-fire line.
b. Complete freedom of movement for these teams has not been granted by Israel authorities.
c. The taking of a Syrian Liaison Officer prisoner who was with one
of the UNMO teams from Damascus."
"Incident was reported by Tiberias control centre as follows:
`At 1005Z 11 June UNMO-203 one of the teams deployed from Damascus is at OP Echo checkpoint which is now an Israeli position. The Israelis have taken the UNMO's Syrian Liaison Officer prisoner'."
"I saw Sasson 11 June and discussed following matters:
1. Sasson agreed with me that everything should be done to expedite the deployment of UNMOs. To that effect I requested that IDF make available seven more Liaison Officers immediately so that we could have nine UNMO teams on Israel side. He agreed to this suggestion subject to concurrence by Dayan.
2. Regarding freedom of movement of UNMO teams he agreed that such movement should be granted in IDF battle areas on the understanding that movement should be co-ordinated with local unit commanders in view of military necessities.
3. In order to ensure greater co-ordination between United Nations and Israel authorities Sasson informed that Col. Gath had been designated as the officer responsible for liaison with United Nations in Tiberias for implementation of Secco cease-fire demand.
4. I also raised the question of the capture of Syrian Liaison Officer reported in my E/51. I urged in strongest terms the release of the Syrian Officer, pointing out that he was travelling with UNMOs at my request for the implementation of Secco resolution. Sasson stated that he was a prisoner of war and that he had to refer the matter to his government. He also stated that atmosphere was extremely tense at present and while he would work for release of officer he thought we should give him some time for his endeavour. I told him I had to report to the Secretary-General and again urged him to do everything possible to ensure the release of the Syrian Officer.
5. In ensuring discussions Sasson raised the possibility of action by me in bringing about exchange of war prisoners. I told him that this would be very good idea and I believe it is possible for me to use my good offices for exchanges of prisoners as it was done for instance by UNMOGIP
/ and UNIPOM
/ during the 1965 crisis in India/Pakistan.
6. Quite apart from the humanitarian considerations I believe that it would help ease tension if UNTSO could help bring about exchanges of prisoners between Israel and Syria. Would appreciate your advice.
7. I again raised the question of the return of UNTSO HQs to Government House. Sasson stated that the matter was before his government and until it had taken a decision on it there was nothing he could do or say. He stated that his government had before it, not only my letter of 9 June but also the Secretary-General's and the President of the Security Council's appeals and was giving them due attention."
"Our efforts regarding return of UNTSO to Government House have so far met with obvious lack of co-operation on part of Israel government. Pending decision of Israel government on principle of return I requested Pragai to arrange for a visit by me to recover some urgently needed personal effects. I even wrote a letter to General Rabin whom I know well to seek his assistance in this connexion. Five days have passed since I made my first request. Pragai still tells me that it is not possible to arrange requested visit. I want to bring this to your attention in order to show you the difficulties we are faced with here."
The following reply has been sent to the foregoing messages from General Bull:
"1. Fully support idea of your good offices being made available in arranging exchange of prisoners.
2. Your stand in demanding release of captured Syrian Liaison Officer is absolutely right and we support it.
3. Stand firm on your demand for prompt return your Government House Headquarters. We consider continuing delay in facilitating this to be unjustified, unco-operative and unfriendly to the U.N.
4. Full information on developments sent in this and earlier cables on 11 June is greatly appreciated this end."
Despite the strong appeals that have been made on the matter of the return of UNTSO to its Government House Headquarters, UNTSO continues to be greatly handicapped through its lack of facilities, and particularly its communications set-up and its deprival of access to its records. This is a great handicap to me also since there is no longer any channel for confidential communication between United Nations Headquarters and the Chief of Staff. There is now an effective cease-fire between Israel and Jordan, there has not been any fighting in the Government House area for days and, indeed, no reason at all is now given for the refusal to permit the Chief of Staff and his colleagues to return to Government House. I regard this as a highly serious matter.
5. In the course of the Security Council's meeting early in the morning of 11 June, I informed the Chief of Staff of the clarifications and elaborations sought by the Permanent Representative of France with regard to some of the information which had been transmitted by the Chief of Staff. Later that morning, I received the following cabled reply from General Bull:
"Answers to French Representative's questions are as follows:
1. We have no reports of further aerial attacks in Syria since the reported attack on Damascus at 1639Z (and not 1647Z) 10 June.
2. Kuneitra control centre re-established 0752Z 11 June.
3. We have enough UNMOs available for task in Israel-Syrian sector. If necessary, we can shift more UNMOs from less critical areas.
4. Only way of ascertaining time at which Israel troops entered Kuneitra 10 June would be to question Sasson. I questioned Sasson on subject evening 10 June and he replied it was before time fixed for cease-fire, but did not give me further details. I shall question him again soonest."
6. In mid-afternoon on 11 June information was received from the Syrian Mission to the United Nations alleging a violation by Israel forces of the cease-fire. This information was immediately communicated to the Chief of Staff, Jerusalem, and the Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission, Damascus, by the following cabled message:
"At 1525 hours New York Time Representative of Syria informed me of urgent message from his government as follows:
"At 1800 hours local time a column of Israeli tanks and supporting elements including airplanes and helicopters moved out of Rafid eastward and southward in the direction of Nawa and other localities where no fighting had heretofore taken place. It was added that in view of the cease-fire commitment Syrian forces were faced with a dilemma. It was also asserted that when UNMOs tried to reach the localities mentioned they were prevented from doing so by Israeli armed forces. Please advise urgently."
The Syrian Mission stated that a letter giving this information would follow. At the time the telephone call came, no report concerning the action alleged had been received from General Bull or the Chairman of ISMAC.
7. With regard to the captured Syrian Liaison Officers the following two messages were received from General Bull in the afternoon of 11 June:
"I saw Sasson again afternoon 11 June at his request.
"2. Before meeting took place we received a message from Tiberias control centre to the effect that `Damascus confirms that all Syrian Liaison Officers were captured at Rafid.' We immediately sent a cable to Chairman ISMAC
/ requesting clarification regarding exact number of Syrian Liaison Officers captured and all relevant details.
"3. During meeting Sasson informed me that Israel authorities had acceded to my request for seven more Liaison Officers and assured me that UNMO teams would have full freedom of movement. He also stated that as a gesture towards me personally and in order to show spirit of co-operation for implementation of Secco resolution Israel government had decided to release the Syrian Liaison Officer taken morning 11 June.
"4. I expressed appreciation for what he had done regarding the release of Syrian Liaison Officer. However, I informed him that situation had changed as since morning meeting we received reports that more Syrian Liaison Officers had been taken, although details were still lacking after discussion on this matter it was agreed that as soon as I received further details from Damascus, I should contact him again so that he could arrange for the release of these Liaison Officers as well as discuss with me ways and means to remedy to this situation.
"5. I believe that I must wait for clarification before raising this matter again but it is my firm intention to take a firm stand with Israel authorities on this vital question for implementation of Secco resolution."
"1. Following repeated requests to Israel authorities, Sasson reported at 1845Z that six Syrian Liaison Officers had been returned to Syria.
"2. I am checking with Chairman whether this represents the total of Syrian LOs taken from UNMOs jeeps today."
/ Situation Reports.
/ Forward Defended Localities.
/ Tiberias Control Centre.
/ Israel Defence Forces.
/ Kuneitra Control Centre.
/ Senior Israel Representative.
/ Light machine-gun.
/ United Nations Military Observer.
/ Observation Post.
/ Liaison Officers.
/ United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan.
/ United Nations India-Pakistan Observation Mission.