Communication Received from Advance Party
Concerning International Police Force for Jerusalem.
(Memorandum by Colonel Roscher Lund - our cable UNPc-27 and conversation with Major Herzog on 31 March, 1948)
(2 April 1948)
If in a future solution Jerusalem is placed under United Nations control, the building up of a police force is one of the most difficult tasks, and if action is not taken at the present stage it will become still more difficult.
Taking police in Jerusalem on a short-term basis, everybody will think mainly in terms of intervention in fighting; but on a more long-term basis, the fighting of crime, that at present has soared to previously unknown heights, is the main task of the police. Thus the preservation of a nucleus of the present police force will have particular value, by virtue of connections with the population, knowledge of language and of the country.
A plan as outlined by Major Herzog may be more or less successful according to circumstances.
If a truce in Palestine or Jerusalem should be enforced and respected before 15 May, a polite force would be extremely valuable. It would be able to collaborate with the Arab and Jewish local police forces in the area and co-ordinate their efforts. It could undertake guard duties within a considerable area of buildings and property belonging to the Palestine Government not - officially guarded in other ways. It would also be able to prepare the future building-up of a police force.
If the other extreme situation should occur, with violent fighting in Jerusalem, the police force would have to limit itself to protection of a small area, waiting for opportunity for action on their part. With their connections on both sides it should, all the same, be able to carry through still in a rather difficult situation, but if the aspects were too serious they would always have the opportunity to go to Haifa some days before 15 May and remain there until The situation improved.
If recruitment of a police force should be contemplated, the following points should be borne in mind:
The recruitment could probably be started with a suitable police officer here, but a police specialist from outside, as chief, ought to be sent as quickly as possible.
The recruitment of an international police force up to about 1,000 men should be started and reinforcements of men and equipment sent as soon as available.
Stores of food should also be sent to Jerusalem to make any force independent anyhow for some time, of local supplies.
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