Question of Palestine home
17 March 1955
Held on 17 March 1955, at 3 p.m.
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. The Palestine question:
a) Complaint by Egypt concerning
Violent and premeditated aggression committed on 28 February 1955 by Israel armed forces against Egyptian armed forces inside Egyptian controlled territory near Gaza, causing many casualties, including 39 dead and 32 wounded, and the destruction of certain military installations, in violation of, inter alia, article I, paragraph 2, and article II, paragraph 2, of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement;
(b) Complaint by Israel of continuous violations by Egypt of the General Armistice Agreement and of resolutions of the Security Council, to the danger of international peace and security, by means of:
(i) Attacks of regular and irregular Egyptian armed forces against Israel armed forces;
(ii) Assaults of raiders from Egyptian controlled territory on lives and property in Israel;
(iii) Failure of the Government of Egypt to adopt and enforce effective measures against such acts of violence;
(iv) Assertion by Egypt of the existence of a state of war and the exercise of active belligerency against Israel, particularly the maintenance and enforcement of blockade measures;
(v) Warlike propaganda and threats against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel;
(vi) Refusal of Egypt to seek agreement by negotiations for an effective transition from the present armistice to peace.
Expression of welcome to the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and to the representative of Brazil.
1. The PRESIDENT: Before submitting the provisional agenda to the Security Council for its approval, I have a few words of congratulation and. welcome to extend to two of our colleagues.
2. In the first place it is a particular pleasure for me, as President of the Council and on its behalf, as well as the representative of Turkey, to congratulate Mr. Sobolev on his nomination as principal permanent representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations.
3. All those who are associated with the work of the United Nations have had the occasion to know of the valuable services rendered to the United Nations by Mr. Sobolev when he was Assistant Secretary-General in charge of the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs of this Organization.
4. Mr. Sobolev's distinguished diplomatic career includes such important posts as Secretary-General of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, Soviet representative to the conferences of Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco, Soviet Ambassador to Poland and representative of the USSR to the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. During the last months, as acting chief representative, he has represented his country both at the General Assembly and on the Security Council with great ability and distinction.
5. I am sure that I am interpreting the sentiments of my colleagues when I extend to Mr. Sobolev our congratulations and wishes for successful co-operation for peace in his new and important position as principal permanent representative of the USSR to the United Nations.
6. I now wish to extend, both as President of the Security Council-and I am sure that I am expressing the feelings of my colleagues here and as the representative of Turkey, a heart-felt welcome to Mr. de Freitas Valle, representative of Brazil, who has recently arrived in New York to assume his new duties as the permanent representative of his Government to the United Nations and as the representative of Brazil on the Security Council.
7. Once more I am sure I am speaking for all my colleagues when I say how pleased we are to see Mr. de Freitas-Valle in our midst again. I say again, because this is not the first time that he has represented his great country of Brazil in the United Nations. Of course, I hardly need to recall Mr. de Freitas-Valle's brilliant career and the services which he has rendered to his country, both in the United Nations and in other important positions. To mention only a few of these, let me recall that Mr. de Freitas-Valle, a veteran diplomat since 1918, was the Chairman of the Brazilian delegation to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations and to its Executive Committee in 1945, and also served as the representative of Brazil to the San Francisco Conference in that year. He took part in the work of the first session of the United Nations General Assembly, and later "was Chairman of the Brazilian delegations to the and fifth sessions of the General Assembly.
8. Mr.de Freitas-Valle was also his country's first representative on the Security Council in 1946. In on to his intensive activities within the United Nations, he represented Brazil at the Peace. Conference in Paris in 1946, and served his country as Ambassador to Germany, Canada, Argentina and Chile. In Brazil, Mr. de Freitas-Valle served twice as Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1939 and in 1949.
9. It is a particular pleasure for me to welcome Mr. de Freitas-Valle as a distinguished representative of his noble country, as an eminent statesman and diplomat also as a person with whom, I am sure, many of us had the pleasure of maintaining long-standing ties friendship. We wish him every success in his new and important duties.
10. On this occasion, I also wish to pay tribute to Mr. Leme, the predecessor of Mr. de Freitas-Valle, who as left New York for Brazil. The high and exceptional qualities of Mr. Leme and his wide knowledge and experience in international law have been a constant source of inspiration to all of us in the Council and have certainly won our deep respect and admiration.
11. In bidding farewell to Mr. Leme, we wish him success and happiness in his new duties. We would be grateful to Mr. de Freitas-Valle if he would kindly convey to Mr. Leme the expression of our sentiments of friendship and high esteem.
12. Mr. SOBOLEV (Union of Soviet Socialist Repu
blics) (translated from Russian): I
wish to thank the President most sincerely for his kind remarks about me; but I feel that I do not yet deserve them. Again, I thank him.
13. Mr. DE FREITAS-VALLE (Brazil): I shall not fail to convey to my predecessor and old friend, Mr. Leme, the farewell greetings which the President and the members of the Council send to him, for which I am deeply grateful.
14. I am overwhelmed by the very kind words which our President has spoken on behalf of all the members in welcoming me to the Security Council. The President could have gone so far in expressing praise of qualities which I do not have only because of the old association we had while working for the United Nations, an association which has created in my heart sincere friendship towards him and towards other friends whom I am happy to see around this table.
15. I very well remember the evening nine years ago when we met for the first time in London. All the world awaiting from those eleven ment he miracle of establishing the enduring peace for which every human being hopes. The miracle could not be accomplished. But the good fight was then begun, and the same faith unites us here.
16. I can only promise that I shall try to collaborate consistently with all of you in the struggle for a better world. Remembering the London meetings of the Security Council, I recall some of the 1,1 peace soldiers " who have already gone on the road of no return. The first was the youngest of the eleven, Mr. Stettinius; then Mr. Bevin; now Mr. Vyshinsky.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The Palestine question
(a) Complaint by Egypt concerning
Violent and premeditated aggression committed on 28 February 1955 by Israel armed forces against Egyptian armed forces 'inside Egyptian-controlled territory near Gaza, causing many casualties, including 39 dead and 32 wounded, and the destruction of certain military installations, in violation of,
article 1, paragraph 2, and article II, paragraph 2, of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement (S/3365, S/3367, S/3373);
(b) Complaint by Israel of continuous violations by Egypt of the General Armistice Agreement and of resolutions of the Security Council, to the danger of international peace and security, by means of: (i) attacks of regular and irregular Egyptian armed forces against Israel armed forces; (ii) assaults of raiders from Egyptian-controlled territory on lives and property in Israel; (iii) failure of the government of Egypt to adopt and enforce effective measures against such acts of violence; (iv) assertion by Egypt of the existence of a state of war and the exercise of active belligerency against Israel, particularly the maintenance and enforcement of blockade measures; (v) warlike propaganda and threats against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel; (vi) refusal of Egypt to seek agreement by nego-tiations for an effective transition from the present armistice to peace (S/3368, S/3373).
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Loutfi, represen-tative of Egypt, and Mr. Eban, representative of Israel, took places at the Council table.
17. The PRESIDENT: As representatives will recall, it was decided at the 692nd meeting of the Council, on 4 March 1955, that General Burns, Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, should be invited to report, if possible, in person on the item which we are considering now. General Burns arrived in New York two days ago and is ready to present his report.
At the invitation of the President, General Burns, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Orga-nization in Palestine, took a place at the Council table.
18. Mr. SOBOLEV (Union of Soviet Socialist Repub
lics) (translated from Russian):
For reasons beyond my control I was unable to attend the meeting of the Security Council on 4 March.
19. I therefore hope I may be permitted to use this opportunity by making a brief preliminary statement, as other members of the Council did at the preceding meeting, explaining the attitude of the USSR delegation towards the complaint submitted to the Council by the Egyptian representative.
20. The Security Council has evidence before it that 28 February
of this year Egyptian armed forces near Gaza were attacked by Israel armed forces and many lives lost.
21. The circumstances of the Gaza incident also show at Israel was responsible for it. Obviously these acts by
the Israel armed forces are a serious violation of the
United Nations Charter and are increasing tension in the area. The Security Council consequently cannot ignore is state of affairs.
22. The Soviet delegation expresses its sympathy to the Government and people of Egypt in connexion with the Gaza incident and the resulting loss of life. At the same Soviet delegation is bound to point out that the Israel representative's comments on the tension prevailing in this area cannot be disregarded. The facts indicate that tension results from the policy of certain States, inasmuch as these States pursue a policy in the Near and Middle East not of strengthening peace and cementing friendly relations among the countries in that area, but of forming military blocs, which is bound to create a threat to the national independence and security of those countries.
23. That is all I shall say at the present stage, but I reserve my right to speak on the substance of the Egyptian complaint after I have studied the report of the representative of the Mixed Armistice Commission and the statements of the representatives of Egypt and Israel.
24. The PRESIDENT: I take pleasure in introducing to the members of the Security Council General E. L. M. Burns, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, who will now present his report.
25. General BURNS (Chief of Staff, United Nations Truce Supervision Organization): I have the honour to submit the following report, in accordance with the Security Council's invitation.
General Burns read document S/3373.
26. Mr. LOUTFI (Egypt)
(translated from French): I
wish to thank the President for calling on me to explain to the Council the complaint by Egypt which appears on the agenda.
27. Before beginning my statement, I wish to reserve the right to comment at a later meeting on General Burns' detailed report, which covers more than the question we are discussing today and calls for detailed study.
28. I wish to thank those members of the Council who have extended their sympathy to Egypt and expressed deep concern at Israel's aggression.
29. Egypt's complaint reads as follows:
"Violent and premeditated aggression committed 28 February 1955 by Israel armed forces against on Egyptian armed forces inside Egyptian-controlled territory near Gaza, causing many casualties, including 39 dead and 32 wounded, and
of certain military installations, in violation of,
article 1, paragraph 2, and article II, paragraph 2, of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement"
30. This aggression was of an exceptional kind and has engendered acute feeling and aroused general indignation. It is likely to have serious and far-reaching repercussions whose magnitude has not escaped the Council.
31. At about 8.30 p.m. on 28 February 1955, an armed Israel detachment of an estimated strength of two sections crossed the demarcation line cast of Gaza and advanced about three kilometres into Egyptian-controlled territory to the site of an Egyptian military camp. The Israel armed forces were in three columns. The first column advanced along the main Gaza road and the second across an orange plantation; the third moved round the railway station. The three columns surrounded the Egyptian camp and breached the barbed wire in several places with bangalore torpedoes. They attacked the camp, using light machine-guns, grenades, incendiary bombs and rockets. They detonated a large explosive charge, completely destroying the building housing a water motor pump. The Israel forces also attacked the station building and wounded the son of one of the employees. At the same time, 6 kilometres to the south-east of Gaza, another group using grenades and light machine-guns attacked a lorry, which carried a lieutenant and 34 soldiers, This ambush cost the lives of 22 soldiers and caused serious damage to the lorry. After this attack the Israel aggressors withdrew.
32. The attack, which lasted three hours, resulted in the death of one officer, 35 soldiers, one civilian and one seven-year-old child. A lieutenant, 28 soldiers, one civilian and one child of nine were wounded. The military camp buildings and the water motor pump building were destroyed.
33. When they withdrew, the Israel aggressors left behind the following arms and equipment: some hand grenades with Israel markings, two magazines for Browning guns loaded with Israel bullets, some bangalore torpedoes (found near the barbed wire fence), some unexploded Israel ammunition and cartridges, and some rocket fragments. A sack containing about 40 kilogrammes of explosives was also found at the scene of the incident. Tracks of Israel soldiers leading in both directions across the demarcation line were discovered.
34. The facts I have just presented are pertinent and need no comment. This act of aggression, committed in the manner I have described, was characterized by an atrocity and a repulsive savagery from which world public opinion cannot but recoil. The indignation aroused by this aggression is heightened by two attendant elements; premeditation, and the use of a complete armoury of weapons of violent destruction.
35. After nightfall, the Israel forces, armed to the teeth with destructive weapons, acting by surprise and in, regard of the provisions of the General Armistice cement, committed a veritable act of war against the Egyptian military camp. This act of war was carried out with an attention to detail and a premeditation which no doubt of Israel's aggressive attitude, which continues to threaten peace and security in that part of the world.
36. This region of Gaza, which but yesterday was peaceful, has been plunged into turmoil by the most horrible aggression ever known, and is seething with action of indignation and horror to the atrocity of this act of war. This region, where thousands of refugees were peacefully going about their work, was transformed overnight by the Israel aggression into a place of desolation and mourning. The situation is given added poignancy by the fact that these thousands of refugees, who were driven from their homes by Israel and who were already leading a precarious and miserable existence, are among the victims of this outbreak of violence. Not even the water pump station, which the refugees in this region need so badly, was spared. It was as though Israel, by committing an act of war in this region thronged with refugees, was deliberately seeking to persecute these unfortunates and increase their sufferings.
37. As the New Zealand representative stated on 4, March 1955: " ... the incident took place in an area where the United Nations has a special responsibility in regard to Arab refugee camps. The unfortunate riots which occurred in these camps are directly attributable to passions inflamed by this incident " [692
nd meeting, para. 39].
38. This act of war committed in the Gaza area is the latest of the already long series of systematic acts of aggression committed by Israel against the Arabs. The names of Qibya, Nahhalin and now Gaza will for long be particularly remembered in history as living examples of crimes committed against the elementary principles of humanity and justice. This latest aggression is certainly the most serious of Israel's violations of the provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement signed at Rhodes on 24 February 1949.1 This new act of aggression by Israel is itself a clear indication that Israel is persisting in its savage aggressions against the Arab countries, and hence in its failure to respect the armistice agreements concluded with those countries.
39. With coolness and self-control, the Egyptian authorities placed the matter before the Mixed Armistice Commission as soon as they had been informed of this act of aggression, thus appealing to the body established to deal with violations of the General Armistice Agreement. We have noted with satisfaction that this attitude of our Government has been appreciated by world public Opinion and favourably commented upon by the members of the Security Council.
40. When seized of the Egyptian complaint, the Mixed Armistice Commission immediately sent observers to Gaza to conduct an enquiry. The observers proceeded to Gaza, conducted the usual interrogations and made the usual observations. Their report is before you.
41. I should nevertheless like to draw attention to the summary of the main evidence proving this aggression, to be found at the end of the report prepared by Major Rosenius of the Swedish army, Captain Muller of the Danish army and Captain Huc of the Belgian army. With your permission, I will read it:
SUMMARY OF MAIN EVIDENCE
1. ATTACK AGAINST MILITARY CAMP
(a) Result of the attack
1 Egyptian captain and 13 soldiers killed, 15 soldiers wounded,
2 civilians killed (one of them a seven-year old boy), 1 civilian wounded;
1 military stone building blown up;
1 concrete pump house blown up
4 Nissen huts with brick walls blown up.
(b) Items found at the camp and along the tracks to the demarcation line
5 unexploded bangalore torpedoes with Israel markings;
9 unexploded Mills hand grenades with Israel markings;
3 unexploded bazooka projectiles 73 mm with Israel markings;
2 parts of bazooka projectiles with Israel markings;
5 TNT blocks with attached detonator of about I lb. each;
1 sack with TNT;
1 Browning light machine-gun with Israel markings;
4 light machine-gun magazines; 4 Sten gun magazines;
1 bloody jacket containing a purse with Israel money;
Several empty ammunition packages with Israel letters;
Many Israel cartridges with Israel markings;
1 torch with batteries with Israel letters.
Tracks of at least 50 person with heavy boots, crossing the demarcation line from Israel, leading to the spot of the attack and back again to Israel.
2. ATTACK AGAINST A MILITARY TRUCK
(a) Result of the attack
22 soldiers killed;
13 soldiers wounded (including 1 lieutenant)
1 Egyptian truck destroyed.
(b) Items found on the spot of the incident
1 Mills hand grenade with Israel markings;
1 unexploded bazooka projectile 73 mm with Israel markings;
Some small items with Israel letters.
Tracks of about 15 persons with boots, crossing the demarcation line from Israel, leading to the spot of the attack and back again to Israel [S/3373, annex I, sect.D].
42. This summary of the main evidence set forth by the observers in their admirable report emphasizes the results of the attack against the military camp and the military truck, as well as the on the spot check which was made immediately after the attack. This document alone is sufficient to establish Israel's guilt clearly.
43. On 6 March 1955, the Mixed Armistice Commission held an emergency meeting under the chairmanship of Colonel Giaomaggi of the Frencg army, and adopted a resolution which appears as annex III to the report before you [S/3373]
44. I would simply point out that this resolution, which confirms the report of the United Nations observers who carried out an investigation, condemns Israel and emphasizes, in particular, that this attack was prearranged and planned by Israel authorities and committed by Israel regular army forces against the Egyptian regular army force. Moreover, this brutal aggression to use the words in the resolution of the Mixed Armistice Commission-was considered by the Commission to be a flagrant at Rhodes on 24 February 1949.
45. At the same meeting, the Israel delegation, in order to create confusion, as usual tried to assert that this Israel military action had been carried out only in self-defense, because the Egyptians had ambushed an Israel patrol on Israel territory. However, the Mixed Armistice Commission rejected this Israel complaint and the Chairman of the Commission stated that the report of the United Nations observers had not established that hostilities had taken place in the area; he added that he could not consider the attack against the Gaza military camp to be a result of a pursuit of Egyptian forces by Israel patrols [S/3373, annex III]
46. Israel appealed to the Special Committee against the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission, in accordance with article X, paragraph 4, of the General Armistice Agreement, which provides: "On questions principle, appeal shall lie to a special committee."
47. If you examine this Israel appeal, you will find that it requested the deletion of the words " brutal aggression ". Israel does not feel that this warlike act committed against Egyptian forces can be described as brutal. Israel also objected to the reference to a huge amount of explosives, maintaining that only 120 kilogrammes of explosives were used. That illustrates once again Israel's aggressive attitude, and shows the levity with which Israel regards the tragic acts of violence which it continually perpetrates. Israel also felt that the Mixed Armistice Commission was unfair in holding, as it did in paragraph 6 of its resolution, that the present serious situation in the Gaza area was the result of the Israel attack. Israel gratuitously asserted that the situation at Gaza had been serious before this last act of aggression. The Special Committee confirmed the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission on this matter.
48. The Special Committee held a meeting on 11 March 1955, with General Burns in the chair, and confirmed the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission of 6 March
This decision of the Special Committee is also attached to General Burns report.
49. The decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission, which was confirmed by the Special Committee, has thus become final, and no appeal can be made against it.
50. My delegation would here like to stress a very important point: that this criminal aggression was committed by the regular armed forces of Israel. In our opinion that point is of capital importance. The use of regular Israel armed forces has always been a feature of the Israel aggressions, which must therefore have been organized and prepared by the responsible leaders of the Israel Government.
51. That is what happened, in particular, on I I August 1950, when the Israel authorities, in expelling the Azazme Bedouins from the Negev and the demilitarized zone of El Auja, carried out a large-scale military operation, using troops, mechanized armaments and armoured vehicles and even a reconnaissance aircraft. The Mixed Armistice Commission, and also the Special Committee, condemned Israel for that aggression and asked that the Bedouins should be repatriated.
52. You must also remember the aggression committed by Israel on the Syrian frontier near El Hamma, which was condemned by the Security Council resolution of 18 May 1951, adopted at the Council's 547th meeting [S/2157). In particular, the Council held that the Israel action conducted by the Government of Israel on 5 April 1951 constituted 11 a violation of the cease-fire provision provided in the Security Council resolution of 15 January 1948 and [was] inconsistent with the terms of the armistice agreement and the obligations assumed under the Charter by all States Members ".
53. Similarly, on 28 and 29 January 1953, Israel armed forces estimated at between 120 and 150 men, using 2-inch and 3-inch mortars, bangalore torpedoes, machine-guns, grenades and small arms, crossed the demarcation line between Jordan and Israel and attacked the villages of Falameh and Rantis. The Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel for this act.
54. Similarly, on the night of 11 August 1953, Israel military forces using mines, bangalore torpedoes, 2-incb mortars, machine-guns and small arms, crossed the demarcation line between Jordan and Israel and attacked the villages of Idna, Surif and Wadi Fukin, wounding several of the inhabitants and destroying dwellings. The Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel for that attack.
55. Furthermore, during the night of 28 August 1953, Israel forces launched an attack against several buildings and huts in the Arab refugee camp at Bureij. This camp, which was organized and is administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, is situated about 2 kilometres west of the demarcation line. Bombs were thrown through the windows of the huts in which the refugees were sleeping. When these fled, they were attacked with small arms and automatic weapons. Twenty persons were killed, 27 seriously wounded and 35 to
This incident was men-tioned in the report which General Bermike presented Council at the 630th meeting, held on 27 October 1953.
56. The Qibya massacre is still fresh in everyone's I will merely cite part of the memorandum of Commander E. H. Hutchison, Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, on the Qibya raid, as quoted in the report made by General Bennike to the Security Council on 27 October 1953:
“The method of attack. The evidence noted indicated that this raid was well planned and carried out by men expertly trained in the fundamentals of sudden
and sustained attack. . .
In my estimation, between 250 and 300 well trained Israel soldiers carried out this operation. As a break-down of this figure, I would say that at least 225 men took part in the actual raid inside Qibya. This figure would account for the men used to bring the demolition bombs into the area, the unit handling 2-inch mortars, the infantry units used to protect the demolition groups and the units engaging the guards at different points throughout this village of approximately 1,500 inhabitants. The figure of 225 is considered an absolute minimum, as, it must be noted, the statement of the witnesses and the evidence found pointed out that the village was simultaneously attacked from three sides " [630
th meeting, para. 26].
57. The Security Council condemned this aggression against Qibya on 24 November 1953
but that did not prevent another act of aggression, attaining a similar degree of brutality and violence, against the village of Nahhalin, on 28 and 29 March 1954. I venture to quote to you part of the resolution adopted by the Mixed Armistice Commission on 30 March 1954:
“1. The crossing of the demarcation line by a large group of militarily trained Israelis who planned and carried out an attack on Nahhalin village on 28-29 March 1954, firing automatic weapons, detonating explosives, throwing hand grenades and incen-diary bombs, which resulted in:
The killing of 5 National Guards and I woman, and the wounding of 14 villagers, men and women,
“(b) The killing of 3 Arab legionaries by the blowing up of a truck which was proceeding to Nahhalin village with. reinforcements, and the wounding of the officer in charge and of 4 other legionaries,
constitutes a most flagrant breach of article III, paragraph 2, of the General Armistice Agreement
[S/3251, para. 11).
58. I have described only the main acts of aggression Committed by Israel; they were carried out by regular Israel forces, and therefore prepared and organized by responsible Israel leaders, precisely like what has just happened at Gaza.
59. The fact is that we have before us a thoroughly studied and carefully drawn up military plan aimed at a clearly defined goal. This concentration of well armed troops and this raid on an Egyptian military camp situated 3 kilometres inside territory under Egyptian control were beyond doubt prepared and premeditated. In addition, the ambush set by Israel forces to prevent reinforcements from reaching the scene of the incident clearly confirms our contention that the Israel Govern-ment had planned a strong military attack.
60. Even Israel cannot claim that military forces can participate in an act of aggression like the one committed against Gaza without instructions and formal orders from their Government. No doubt that is why the Mixed Armistice Commission decided that this premeditated attack had been organized by the Israel authorities.
61. Besides, as the New Zealand representative stated at the meeting of the Council on 4 March:
“It is described to us as a military attack. Therefore, if one side is exclusively at fault, it is at fault not as a result of the lawlessness of its citizens, but as a result of a deliberate, planned and disciplined act which must be regarded as carrying governmental respon-sibility " [692
nd meeting, para. 37].
62. It is needless to emphasize that this Israel aggression constitutes a grave violation of article 1, paragraphs 2 and 3, article 11, paragraph 2, and article V, paragraph 3, of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement.
63. I wish to draw particular attention to article 11, paragraph 2, of this agreement, which reads as follows:
" No element of the land, sea or air military or para-military forces of either party, including non-regular forces, shall commit any warlike or hostile act against the military or para-military forces of the other party, or against civilians in territory under the control of that party; or shall advance beyond or pass over for any purpose whatsoever the armistice demarcation line set forth in article VI of this agreement... "
64. Furthermore, article 1, paragraph 2, reads as follows:
" No aggressive action by the armed forces-land, sea, or air-of either party shall be undertaken, planned, or threatened against the people or the armed forces of the other. . . "
65. These articles are the very foundation of the armistice agreement, which can be applied only if they are respected. It is precisely these articles which Israel has just violated in such flagrant fashion, as indeed the Mixed Armistice Commission and the Special Committee have held.
66. Moreover, this aggression has been committed in violation of one of the Council's latest resolutions: that which the Council adopted on 24 November 1953 [S/3139
on the occasion of the armed Israel attack on the village of Qibya and the attendant butchery. In that resolution the Council found that retaliatory
at Qibya taken by armed forces of Israel on 14-15 October 1953, and all such actions, constituted “a violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Security Council resolution of 15 July 1948 " and were inconsistent with the parties’ obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the Charter ", and called upon Israel “to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future.
67. It is plain that this new aggression committed in Gaza region is also a violation of the Security Council resolution of 15 July 1948
and of the resolution of 24 November 1953.
68. Furthermore, this bloody incident is clearly also a violation of the United Nations Charter, which Israel, on its admission to the United Nations, undertook to respect and which binds it in particular to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force.
69. Justify its attitude, the Israel Governments as usual attempted to distort the facts, in order to fill our minds with disorder and confusion and to represent this aggression which was so clearly premeditated, as the outcome of an alleged attack by Egyptian forces.
70. The purpose of this gratuitous allegation made, as usual, for propaganda purposes is to turn the tables. This time it met with opposition on the very first day, in the form of a Press release from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, which stated in parti-cular that on 11 28 February 1955, Israel armed forces violently attacked the Egyptian military position near the Gaza railway station "; after which came the investigation made by the United Nations observers, and the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission and the Special Committee.
71. It is clear from what I have said that the Israelis have just committed in the Egyptian sector of Gaza the most serious, the most vile act of aggression perpe-trated since the General Armistice Agreement was signed by Egypt and Israel, an act planned in advance and organized by the responsible Israel authorities. These facts are incontrovertible and, despite Israel denials, leave no room for doubt.
72. Israel still seeks to distort the facts by endeavouring, as the statements of its responsible leaders show, to divert discussion to the situation in the Near East in order to draw the general attention away from this savage aggression.
73. Furthermore, the Israel Government, which for propaganda purposes unceasingly proclaims its desire for peace, is perpetrating armed attacks which are well defined acts of war. This attitude exactly corresponds to the position now adopted by the leaders of Israel, whose bellicose statements fill the columns of the Press and include the Israel Prime Minister's remarks which appeared in
The New York Times of 3
March 1955 and which, I am sure, are known to you.
74. Israel believes that it can impose peace by force. It was probably in the hope of bringing the Arabs to the peace table that such incidents as those of Qibya, Nahhalin and Gaza were deliberately provoked. In this connexion, the United States representative made the following interesting statement in the Security Council on 4 March 1955:
our experience in this Council with the Palestine question, one thing has remained clear; it is that the use of armed force will not produce peace negotiations
" [692nd meeting, para. 10].
Similarly, the other representatives who spoke at the 692nd meeting without exception condemned this attack, this resort to force, which is incompatible with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.
75. I apologize for this digression. We are not discussing this subject today. The question before us is what attitude the Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for international peace and security, will take to affirm its authority and put an end to the constant aggression by Israel. That is the question now being considered with particular anxiety by the Arab world, which is expecting the highest authority of our Organization to show that it is equal to its noble task of main-taining peace and security.
76. I take the liberty of recalling that the Security Council has already condemned Israel in connexion with the Qibya incident. Unfortunately, the condem-nation bore no fruit. Only a few months after Qibya we witnessed the dramatic events at Nahhalin, which were no less violent than the Qibya raid. Now, a few months later, we are faced with this new and odious act of aggression at Gaza.
77. The attitude and behaviour of Israel show plainly that disapproval or condemnation of its action by the Council cannot suffice. In that connexion, the represen-tative of Iran said at the meeting of the Security Council of 4 March 1955:
“It is the Security Council's duty to condemn all acts of aggression. Indeed, mere condemnation is not enough when aggression has caused so many deaths. The Security Council must shoulder its responsibilities and act accordingly " [692
nd meeting, para. 27].
78. The truth is that the Israel Government, although the Security Council, in its resolution of 24 November 1953 on the Qibya incident
enjoined it to take effective measures to prevent any similar action, has not changed its behaviour. On the contrary, it has maintained its attitude of provocation and continued to commit serious acts of aggression.
79. In the circumstances, my delegation hopes that the Security Council will find that there has been a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, the Security Council resolution 24 November 1953, and
the United Nations
80. My delegation is confident that the Council will condemn this brutal aggression, thereby confirming the resolution of the Mixed Armistice Commission and of the special Committee.
81. Furthermore, we hope that, in view of the gravity this situation created by Israel aggression, the Council will apply Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter are indeed faced with a serious act of aggression, one which has created a situation certainly involving a grave threat to peace.
82. The Council could take under that chapter of the charter such action as it considered necessary to prevent the repetition of such an act of aggression. It could request the punishment of those responsible for this act. It could hold Israel responsible for the loss of human life and the material damage caused by this aggression in
the Gaza area. My Government reserves all its rights with regard to this question of reparations.
83. We also hope that the States which furnish Israel with financial or military aid, and which therefore exert great influence upon it will consider whether it would not be wise to suspend such aid after this terrible act of war on Israel's part, an act which flagrantly violates the General Armistice Agreement, the resolutions of the United Nations and the United Nations Charter.
84. Despite the heinous aggression committed against us, the Egyptian leaders have retained their calm and self-control. They have resorted to the procedure provided by the General Armistice Agreement for the purpose of dealing with violations of the armistice. In accordance with the Charter, they have appealed to the Security Council.
85. It must not be forgotten, however, that self-control and calm have their limits. It is for the Security Council to take appropriate action to prevent the recurrence of such acts of aggression, which seriously impair peace and security in the Middle East.
86. We are fully confident that the Council, aroused by the repetition of such acts of war by Israel, will condemn the aggressor and take such action as is necessary under the Charter to prevent similar acts of war in future.
87. Mr. EBAN (Israel): Many of the observations which I propose to make touch on the matters authoritatively described in the report submitted by the Chief Of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization [S/3373]. Accordingly, with the President's permission, I should like to address the Security Council at its next meeting and to give a complete account of my Government's Position on all the matters dealt with in that report and in the statement of the representative of Egypt.
88. The PRESIDENT: Since no member of the Council wishes to speak, this meeting will now be adjourned.
The meeting rose at 4.40 p.m.