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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
13 September 1948
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/282
13 September 1948


(The following has been received at UN Headquarters from the Press Officer
with the UN Mediator for Palestine, Rhodes.)

In a cable to the Security Council the UN Mediator for Palestine today (13 September) charged that Jews committed a breach of the truce between 18 - 26 July, when their forces attacked three Arab villages south of Haifa, destroying two of them.

Quoting a decision of the Central Truce Supervision Board, based on reports of three special investigating teams, Count Bernadotte said that the Arab allegations concerning the number of persons killed in the three villages was grossly exaggerated, since the number killed or missing was below 130.

The Mediator said that the attack on the villages of Einghazal, Ijzim and Jaba, lasted from l8 - 25 July, at the beginning of the second truce, with the Jews evacuating the Arab inhabitants of the villages after the attacks. Later, Einghazal and Jaba were destroyed by the Jewish Army.

The Mediator informed the Council that in the light of this truce violation, he had communicated to Moshe Shertok, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government of Israel, a decision called for the immediate return of Arab inhabitants of the three villages, with Jews defraying the cost of the reconstruction of the villages and the rehabilitation of their inhabitants. The Mediator said that the procedure for resettlement of the villages shall be worked out between his Chief of Staff and the representatives of the governments concerned.

Meanwhile, in Haifa, on 11 September, the Mediator's Chief of Staff, General Aage Lundstrom, in a message to the Government of Transjordan, rejected Transjordan's request for a further extension of the deadline on which Arab forces have to evacuate the Nabidawud sector in Jerusalem's no man's land between old and the new city.

The final deadline for the evacuation of this area thus remains at noon on 12 September, which was set by the Mediator in a telegram to the Government of Transjordan on 9 September.

If the Arabs disregard the deadline the Mediator is expected to submit the case to the Security Council for action. The events leading up to the present situation are the following:

After beginning the second truce in Palestine, a dispute arose between the Arabs and Jews concering positions held by their forces in the vicinity of Mt. Zion. As the disputing parties were unable to reach an agreament, the Central Truce Supervision Board decided on 26 August, to establish a narrow no man's land between the Arab and Jewish lines in that area and ordered the withdrawal of all forces therefrom by noon on 29 August. The order was generally obeyed except that Transjordan forces refused to evacuate one commanding position in that no man's land, namely Nabidawud. The Mediator took the matter up with the war minister of Transansjordan, Fawzi el Moultai Pasha in Alexandria on 7 September and secured his promise to evacuate Nabidawud. Consequently on 9 September the Mediator set the deadline for the promised evacuation at 12 September, but the Government of Transjordan on 10 September requested a extension of the deadline which has now been rejected.

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