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12. The Palestine question...............................pg. 28
*Note: This consolidated summary statement is being issued for the convenience of the members of the Security Council, so that a brief account of the proceedings of the Council on matters of which it is seized may be found in one document.
12. THE PALESTINE QUESTION
(a) Inclusion of the item in the agenda
In a letter dated 2 December 1947 (s/614) the Secretary-General transmitted to the Security Council, General Assembly resolution 181 (II) concerning the future Government of Palestine (Plan of Partition). At its 222nd meeting (9 December), the Council took note of that resolution and decided to postpone discussion of the matter.
At its 253rd meeting (24 February 1948) the Council began its consideration of the question, and at its 263rd meeting (5 March) adopted a resolution (S/691) calling upon the permanent members to consult together regarding the situation in Palestine and appealing to all Governments to act to prevent such disorders as were occurring in Palestine. On 19 March (270th meeting), those permanent members of the Council who had consulted together recommended that the Council should make it clear to the parties concerned that the Council was determined not to permit the existence in Palestine of any threat to the peace and that it would take further action by all means available to it to bring about the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of peace.
(b) Establishment on 23 April 1948 of the Consular Truce Commission
At its 277th meeting (1 April), the Council adopted two resolutions (S/714 I, S/714 II); the first one called for a truce in Palestine, and the second requested the Secretary-General to convoke a special session of the General Assembly to consider further the question of the future Government of Palestine.
In accordance with the terms of the first resolution, the representatives of the Jewish Agency and of the Arab Higher Committee met with the President in order to agree upon a basis for the truce. Since no agreement was reached, the Council adopted on 17 April (283rd meeting) a resolution calling for a truce and outlining the principles and machinery therefore (S/723). Subsequently, on 23 April, the Council established a Truce Commission (S/727) to assist in the implementation by the parties of the Council's truce resolution of 17 April and to be composed of the representatives of those members of the Security Council, except Syria, who had career consular officers in Jerusalem.
(c) The Security Council truce resolution of 29 May 1948
Following the outbreak of hostilities on 14 May 1948, the Council adopted at its 302nd meeting (22 May) a resolution calling upon the parties to issue cease-fire orders within thirty-six hours of the adoption of the resolution (S/773).
The provisional Government of Israel communicated to the Council its acceptance of the truce on 24 May (S/779), whereas the Arab States informed the Council that the 17 April truce resolution should be first observed so that the cease-fire might lead to a just and lasting solution (S/792).
The Council at its 310th meeting (29 May) adopted a resolution (S/801) calling, inter alia, for a cessation of hostilities for a period of four weeks, and instructing Count Folke Bernadotte, the United Nations Mediator, 4/ to supervise the cease-fire, in concert with the Truce Commission which was to be provided with military observers, and to make contact with the parties with a view to carrying out his functions as determined by the General Assembly.
The Arab States and the provisional Government of Israel advised the Council of their acceptance of the resolution (S/804, S/810).
At its 313th meeting (3 June), the Council agreed that the Mediator should be given full authority to interpret the terms of the cease-fire resolution. Only if his interpretation was challenged should the matter be submitted to the Council.
(d) The Security Council truce resolution of 15 July 1948
The first truce in Palestine went into effect on 11 June 1948. Since the first truce was to expire on 9 July 1948, the Council addressed on 7 July (351st meeting) an urgent appeal to both Jews and Arabs for the prolongation of the truce (S/875). Nevertheless, fighting started again in Palestine.
At the 333rd meeting (15 July), the Mediator presented to the Council an oral report supplementing his previous written report (s/888), wherein he called upon the Council to order an immediate cease-fire. At its 358th meeting (15 July), the Council adopted a resolution (S/902), describing the situation in Palestine as a threat to the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter, ordering an indefinite cease-fire, and instructing the Mediator to supervise the truce and to establish procedures for examining alleged breaches.
Since many alleged violations of the cease-fire order were brought to the notice of the Council, especially in the Negev area, the Council took various decisions to remedy the, situation. These resolutions, which were taken at the meetings of 19 October, 4 and 16 November and 29 December (S/1044, S/1070, S/1080, S/1169), were concerned chiefly with calling upon both parties to cease fire and to start negotiations for armistice agreements. On 17 September (S/1002), the Security Council was informed of the assassination in Palestine of Count Folke Bernadotte, the Mediator. The Council, at its 558th meeting (18 September), approved the cablegram sent on the previous day by the Acting Secretary-General empowering Dr. Ralph Bunche to assume full authority as Acting Mediator until further notice.
(e) Conclusion of the Armistice Agreements between February and July 1949
On 11 December 1948 (S/1122), the General Assembly established by resolution 194 (III) a Palestine Conciliation Commission (France, Turkey and the United States) which was, inter alia, to assume the function of the Acting Mediator under resolution 186 (S-2) of 14 May 1948, and to take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them.
By letter dated 6 January 1949 (S/1187), the Acting Mediator, Dr. Bunche, informed the Security Council that the Government of Egypt and the provisional Government of Israel had unconditionally accepted a proposal providing for a cease-fire in the Negev area, to be immediately followed by direct negotiations under United Nations chairmanship, on the implementation of the Council's resolutions of 4 and 16 November 1948, calling for the conclusion of armistice agreements.
Between February and July 1949, Armistice Agreements were signed between Israel on the one hand, and Egypt (S/1264/Rev.l), Lebanon (S/1296/Rev.1), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (S/1302/Rev.l) and Syria (S/1353/Rev.1) on the other. On 21 July, the Acting Mediator submitted his final report on the status of the armistice negotiations and the truce in Palestine (S/1357). 5/
At the 437th meeting (11 August), the Council adopted two resolutions (S/1376 I, S/1376 II), the first paying tribute to Count Folke Bernadotte and, upon the completion of their responsibilities, expressing appreciation to the Acting Mediator and the members of the staff of the Palestine Mission, and the second which, inter alia, expressed the hope that the parties, by means of negotiations conducted by the Palestine Conciliation Commission, would soon achieve agreement on a final settlement and, meanwhile, reaffirmed the cease-fire order contained in the Council's 15 July resolution (S/902); relieved the Acting Mediator of any further responsibility under Security Council resolutions; noted that the Armistice Agreements were to be supervised by Mixed Armistice Commissions under the chairmanship of the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization; and requested the Chief of Staff to report to the Council on the observance of the cease-fire in Palestine. Since then, the Chief of Staff has periodically submitted reports on the work of that organization.
(f) The demilitarization of Jerusalem
The question of demilitarization of the Jerusalem area, with special reference to General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, was placed on the agenda of the 453rd meeting on 25 October 1949 at the request of the representative of Egypt. The Council decided to adjourn further discussion of this matter indefinitely, pending discussion of the Palestine question by the General Assembly. While the Assembly has discussed various aspects of the Palestine question at each subsequent session, the Council has not resumed discussion of this matter.
(g) Charges submitted by Egypt on 9 September 1950 of alleged violation of the Egyptian-Israel Armistice Agreement
By letter dated 9 September 1950 (S/1789 and Corr.1), Egypt drew to the attention of the Security Council the expulsion by Israel of thousands of Palestinian Arabs into Egyptian territory and alleged violations by Israel of the Egyptian-Israel General Armistice Agreement.
At its 524th meeting (17 November), the Council adopted a resolution (S/1907 and Corr.l), which called upon the parties to consent to the handling of the present complaints according to the procedures established in the Armistice Agreements; requested the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission to give urgent attention to the Egyptian complaints of expulsion of thousands of Palestine Arabs and called upon both parties to give effect to any finding of the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission regarding the repatriation of any such Arabs who, in the Commission's opinion, were entitled to return; and authorized the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to recommend to Israel and Egypt and other appropriate Arab States such steps as he considered necessary to control the movement of nomadic Arabs across international frontiers or armistice lines.
(h) Charges submitted by Syria in April 1951 of alleged violation of the Armistice Agreement regarding the Huleh Marshes
At the 541st meeting (17 April 1951), the Council considered the various items concerning alleged violations of the Syrian-Israel General Armistice Agreements which had been submitted by the representatives of Syria and Israel (see S/Agenda 541). The Council agreed to defer further consideration until such time as General Riley, Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, should be able to come before the Council for the purpose of providing it with further information.
At the 545th meeting (8 May), the Council adopted a resolution noting that fighting was continuing in the demilitarized zone and culling upon the parties to cease fighting (S/2130).
At the 547th meeting (18 May), the Council adopted a resolution (S/2157) which, inter alia, (1) called upon the Government of Israel to comply with the request of the Chief of Staff and of the Chairman of the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission to ensure that the Palestine Land Development Company cease all operations in the demilitarized zone until such time as an arrangement was made through the Chairman of the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission for the continuation of the drainage project; (2) found that the aerial action taken by Israel forces on 5 April and any future aggressive military action by either party in or around the demilitarized zone should be regarded as constituting a violation of the cease-fire provision of the Security Council resolution of 15 July 1948, and as inconsistent with the terms of the Armistice Agreement and the obligations assumed under the Charter; and (3) decided that Arab civilians who had been removed from the demilitarized zone by Israel
should be permitted to return forthwith to their homes and that the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission should supervise their return and rehabilitation.
(i) Complaint submitted by Israel in July 1951 regarding the Suez Canal
By letter dated 11 July 1951 (S/2241), the representative of Israel requested urgent-consideration of the following item: "Restrictions imposed by Egypt on the passage of ships through the Suez Canal".
The Council began consideration of this question at the 549th meeting (26 July) and invited the representatives of Israel, Egypt and Iraq to participate without vote in the discussion.
At the 558th meeting (1 September), the Council adopted a resolution (S/2322) which found, inter alia, that the practice of interfering with passage through the Suez Canal of goods destined for Israel was inconsistent with the objectives of a peaceful settlement and the establishment of permanent peace in Palestine. The resolution called upon Egypt to terminate the restrictions on the passage of international commercial shipping and goods through the Suez Canal wherever bound and to cease all interference with such shipping beyond that essential to the safety of shipping in the Canal itself and to the observance of the international conventions in force.
(j) Compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements, with special reference to recent acts of violence, and in particular to the incident at Qibiya on 14-15 October 1953: report by the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization
In identical letters dated 17 October 1953, the representatives of France (S/3109), the United Kingdom (S/3110) and the United States (S/3111) requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the matter of the tension between Israel and the neighbouring Arab States, with particular reference to recent acts of violence and to compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements.
The Council discussed this matter at ten meetings between 19 October and 25 November 1953, during which time Major General Vagn Bennike, Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, presented a comprehensive report concerning the activities and decisions of the four Mixed Armistice Commissions, particularly regarding the Qibiya incident.
At the 642nd meeting (24 November), the Council adopted a resolution (S/3139/Rev.2) which, inter alia (1) found that the retaliatory action at Qibiya taken by armed forces of Israel and all such actions constituted a violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948 and were inconsistent with the parties' obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the Charter; (2) expressed the strongest censure of that action, calling upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future; (3) took note of the fact that there was substantial evidence of crossing of the demarcation line by unauthorized persons often resulting in acts of violence and requested the Government of Jordan to continue and to strengthen the measures which they were already taking to prevent such crossings; (4) recalled to the Government of Israel and Jordan their obligations under Security Council resolutions and the General Armistice Agreement to' prevent all acts of violence on either side of the demarcation line; (5) reaffirmed that it was essential in order to achieve progress by peaceful means towards a lasting settlement of the issues outstanding between them that the parties abide by their obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the resolutions of the Security Council; and (6) requested the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to report within three months to the Council, with such recommendations as he might consider appropriate, on compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements, with particular reference to the provisions of that resolution and taking into account any agreement reached in pursuance of the request by the Government of Israel for the convocation of a conference under Article XII of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan.
(k) Complaint submitted by Syria against Israel on 16 October 1953 concerning work on the west bank of the River Jordan in the Demilitarized Zone
In a letter dated 16 October 1953 (S/3108/Rev.l), the representative of Syria complained that on 2 September 1953 Israel had started works in the Demilitarized Zone to divert the Jordan River into a new channel with a view to making it flow through its own territory. He charged that that action violated the provisions of the Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreement, particularly article V thereof. He also recalled that the Chief of Staff had requested Israel on 23 September to stop all operations.
Following a report by the Chief of Staff on the question (S/3122), the Council started discussing the question at its 629th meeting (27 October). At the 631st meeting (27 October), the Council adopted a resolution (S/3128) wherein it deemed it desirable that the works started in the Demilitarized Zone should be suspended pending the urgent examination of the question by the Council, and took note with satisfaction of Israel's undertaking to suspend the works in question during the Council's examination of the dispute.
After further discussion of the question at subsequent meetings, France, the United Kingdom and the United States submitted at the 648th meeting (16 December) a joint draft resolution (S/3151), under which as subsequently revised (S/3151/Rev.2) the Council would, inter alia, (1) endorse the request by the Chief of Staff to the Government of Israel dated 23 September 1953; (2) call upon the parties to the dispute to comply with all the decisions and requests made by the Chief of Staff in the exercise of his authority under the Armistice Agreement; (3) request and authorize the Chief of Staff to explore possibilities of reconciling Israel and Syrian interests involved in the dispute over the diversion of Jordan waters at Banat Ya'qub, including full satisfaction of existing irrigation rights at all seasons, while safeguarding the rights of individuals in the Demilitarized Zone, and to take such steps in accordance with the Armistice Agreement as he might deem appropriate to effect a reconciliation; (4) request the Secretary-General to place at the disposal of the Chief of Staff a sufficient number of experts, in particular hydraulic engineers, to supply him on the technical level with the necessary data for a complete appreciation of the project in question and of its effect upon the Demilitarized Zone; and (5) direct the Chief of Staff to report to the Security Council within ninety days on the measures taken to give effect to that resolution.
At the 656th meeting (22 January 1954), the Council failed to adopt the revised joint draft resolution owing to the negative vote of a permanent member.
During the discussion of the question, the representative of Lebanon submitted one draft resolution on 18 December 1953 (S/3152) and another draft resolution (S/3166) at the 655th meeting (21 January 1954). The Council has not yet acted on these resolutions.
(l) Complaints received from Israel and Egypt in January and February 1954
In a letter dated 28 January 1954 (S/3168), the representative of Israel requested that a complaint concerning restrictions placed by Egypt upon shipping proceeding to Israel through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba be placed on the Council's agenda for urgent consideration. The letter added that the acts complained of constituted violations of the Council's resolution of 1 September 1952 and of the Egypt-Israel Armistice, Agreement.
In a letter dated 3 February (S/3172), the representative of Egypt requested the inclusion of the following in the same agenda for urgent consideration: "Complaint by Egypt against Israel concerning violations by Israel of the Egyptian-Israel Armistice Agreement in the Demilitarized Zone of El-Auja".
At the 657th meeting (4 February), the Council decided that the agenda should consist of those two complaints and that they should be considered consecutively. It discussed the complaint submitted by Israel at eight meetings from 4 February (657th meeting) to 29 March (664th meeting).
At the 662nd meeting (23 March), the representative of New Zealand submitted a draft resolution (S/3188/Corr.1) providing, inter alia, that the Council should (1) recall its resolution of 1 September 1951; (2) note with grave concern that Egypt had not complied with that resolution; (3) call upon Egypt, in accordance with its obligations under the Charter, to comply with it; and (4) consider that without prejudice to the provisions of the resolution of 1 September 1951, the complaint concerning the alleged interference with shipping to Elath through the Gulf of Aqaba should in the first instance be dealt with by the Mixed Armistice Commission established under the Egypt-Israel Armistice Agreement.
At the 664th meeting (29 March), the New Zealand draft resolution was put to the vote, and was not adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council. Since the 664th meeting, the Council has not considered those complaints.
(m) Complaints received from Lebanon and Israel in March and April 1954
In a cablegram dated 30 March 1954 (S/3192) Jordan charged that on 28 March large Israel military armed forces had attacked the Jordan village of Nahhalin, killing nine persons and wounding eighteen civilians. It was stated that on the same date the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission had adopted a resolution condemning Israel in the strongest terms for that aggression and calling upon the Israel authorities to take the most effective measures to prevent such and other aggressions against Jordan in the future and to apprehend and punish those responsible.
In a letter dated 1 April (S/3195), the representative of Lebanon submitted for urgent consideration a complaint regarding this incident on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan.
By a letter dated 5 April (S/3196) the representative of Israel requested urgent consideration of four complaints concerning repudiation by Jordan of its obligations under the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, and an armed attack on a bus near Scorpion Pass on 17 March.
At the 665th meeting (8 April), the Council had before it a provisional agenda containing the complaints received from Lebanon as sub-item (a) and the complaints received from Israel as sub-item (b). At the 665th to 670th meetings the Council considered the question of whether the two sub-items should be discussed consecutively or concurrently. At the 670th meeting (4 May), the Council decided that it should (1) adopt the provisional agenda (2) hold a general discussion in which reference might be made to any or all of the complaints on the agenda; and (3) not commit itself, at that stage, as to the separate or joint character of its eventual resolution or resolutions. Thereafter the President invited the representatives of Israel and Jordan to take pert in the discussion.
At the 171st meeting (12 May), the representative of Lebanon submitted a draft resolution providing that the Council should (1) find that the attack on Nahhalin constituted a flagrant breach by Israel of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948, of article III, paragraph 2, of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement, of Israel's obligations under the Charter and of the Council's resolution of 24 November 1953; (2) express the strongest censure in condemnation of that action and call upon Israel to take effective measures to apprehend and punish the perpetrators; (3) request Israel to pay compensation for loss of life and damage to property sustained in Nahhalin as a result of the action; and (4) call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply, in accordance with Article 41 of the Charter, such measures against Israel as they deemed necessary to prevent the repetition of such actions and the aggravation of the situation.
In the course of the 670th meeting (4 May), the representative of Israel inquired from the President whether, in inviting the representative of Jordan to the Council for the purpose of presenting a complaint against Israel, the Council had satisfied itself that the Government of Jordan had given or would give assurances, under Article 35, paragraph 2, of the Charter, of its acceptance in advance of the obligations of pacific settlement provided in the Charter.
By a letter dated 26 May (S/3219), the Ambassador of Jordan informed the President of the Security Council that he was not empowered to represent his Government before the Council or to take part in its current discussion.
Since the 671st meeting the Council has not considered those complaints.
On 19 June the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization transmitted two reports on the Scorpion Pass (S/3252) and Nahhalin incidents (S/3251).
(n) The incident of 28 September 1954 concerning the SS. Bat Galim
In a letter dated 28 September 1954 (S/3296), the representative of Israel informed the Council that, on that date, the Israel vessel SS. Bat Galim had arrived at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal without incident but that after the routine inspection by the Egyptian authorities had taken place in a friendly atmosphere, an Egyptian patrol vessel had approached the ship, and that wireless communication, which had been maintained up to then with the Company's offices in Haifa, had come to an end. The letter added that the seizure of the vessel was but the latest example of the Egyptian Government disregard for the Security Council and its resolutions, especially that of 1 September 1951.
In a letter dated 29 September (S/3297), the representative of Egypt informed the President that, on 28 September, the SS. Bat Galim had approached the harbour of Suez and, without any provocation, had opened fire with small-arms on Egyptian fishing boats within Egyptian territorial waters. The Egyptian authorities had taken the preliminary measures of arresting the crew of the ship and ordering an immediate inquiry to determine responsibility for the incident.
The Council discussed the question at seven meetings from 14 October 1954 to 13 January 1955 (682nd to 688th meetings).
In a report dated 25 November 1954 (S/3323), the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine described the proceedings of the Mixed Armistice Commission concerning the complaints by Israel and Egypt. He stated that the Commission had rejected an Egyptian draft resolution providing that the Commission should (1) find that during the night of 27-28 September 1954, the Israel vessel Bat Galim had entered Egyptian territorial waters; (2) decide that that action was a violation of article II, paragraph 2 of the General Armistice Agreement; (3) decide that that action was also a violation of the shipping agreement signed by both parties and witnessed by the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, which was considered as complementary to the General Armistice Agreement; and (4) call upon Israel authorities to prevent such actions in the future.
Thereafter, the Commission had adopted an Israel draft resolution providing that the Commission should find that the Egyptian complaint regarding the SS. Bat Galim case was unfounded and that no provision of the General Armistice Agreement had been violated by Israel.
In a letter dated 4 December (S/3326), the representative of Egypt stated that, owing to insufficient evidence, the Egyptian judicial authorities had set aside charges of murder, attempted murder and unlawful carrying of weapons brought against the members of the crew of the SS. Bat Galim, The seamen would be released as soon as the necessary formalities had been concluded and the Egyptian Government was prepared to release the seized cargo immediately.
At the 688th meeting (13 January 1955), the President, in summing up the discussion, stated that it was evident that most representatives regarded the resolution of 1 September 1951 as having continuing validity and effect, and it was in that context and that of the 1888 Convention that they had considered the Bat Galim incident. In so far as steps bad been taken by Egypt towards a settlement, such as the release of the crew on 1 January 1955 and the announced willingness to release the cargo and the ship itself, those steps had been welcomed by most of the representatives. Hope had been expressed that a continued attitude of conciliation on both sides would speedily bring about an agreement on the arrangements for the release of the ship and cargo. On that note of hope and expectation, he proposed to adjourn the meeting.
Since the 688th meeting, the Council has not considered this matter.
(o) Egyptian and Israel complaints of March 1955 concerning incidents in the Gaza area
I. In a letter dated 2 March 1955 (S/3367), the representative of Egypt requested a meeting of the Council to consider the following complaint: "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 thirty-nine dead and thirty-two 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-Israel General Armistice Agreement".
In a letter dated 3 March (S/3368), the representative of Israel requested consideration of his Government's complaint against Egypt for continuous violations by Egypt of the General Armistice Agreement and of resolutions of the Security Council by means of, inter alia, attacks of regular and irregular Egyptian armed forces against Israel armed forces; assertion by Egypt of the existence of a state of war and the exercise of active belligerency against Israel, particularly the maintenance and the enforcement of blockade measures: and Egyptian refusal to seek agreement by negotiation for an effective transition from the present armistice to peace.
In a report dated 17 March (S/3373), submitted orally to the Council, the Chief of Staff stated that, on 6 March, the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission had decided that the attack on Gaza constituted a violation of the General Armistice Agreement. He added, however, that infiltration from Egyptian-controlled territory was one of the main causes of the prevailing tension. He suggested that, in order to decrease tension along the Demarcation Line the two parties should examine in an informal meeting the possibility of agreeing on certain measures which he had proposed.
On 28 March, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America submitted a joint draft resolution (S/3378) providing that the Council should (1) condemn the attack on Gaza as a violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948 and as inconsistent with the obligations of the parties under the Armistice Agreement and the Charter; (2) call again upon Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent such actions; and (3) express its conviction that the maintenance of the Armistice Agreement was threatened by any deliberate violations of that agreement by one of the parties to it, and that no progress towards the return of permanent peace in Palestine could be made unless the parties complied strictly with their obligations under the Armistice Agreement and the cease-fire provisions. of its resolution of 15 July 1948.
On the same date, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America submitted a second joint draft resolution (S/3379), providing that the Council, anxious that all possible steps should be taken to preserve security in the area, should, inter alia, (1) request the Chief of Staff to continue his consultations with the Governments of Egypt and Israel with a view to the introduction of practical measures to that end; (2) note that the Chief of Staff had already made certain concrete proposals to that effect; and (3) call upon the Governments of Egypt and Israel to co-operate with the Chief of Staff with regard to his proposals, bearing in mind that, in the opinion of the Chief of Staff, infiltration could be reduced to an occasional nuisance if an agreement bed been effected between the parties on the lines he had proposed.
The two draft resolutions were adopted unanimously at the 695th and 636th meetings (29 and 30 March) respectively.
II. In a letter dated 4 April (S/3385), the representative of Israel requested the President to place on the Council's agenda a complaint concerning repeated attacks by Egypt against Israel, with special reference to (1) the armed assault at Patish on 24 March; (2) frequent mining and firing on Israel army units patrolling the Israel-Egyptian border at the Gaza strip between 26 March and 3 April and (3) the attack on Israel army patrol and on the village of Nahal-Oz on 3 April.
In a report dated 14 April (S/3390), the Chief and Staff described the incidents between Egypt and Israel since the Gaza incident on 28 February. He believed that the most urgent step to be taken to improve the situation in the Gaza area was the institution of joint patrols along the Demarcation Line.
The Council discussed the question at the 697th and 698th meetings (6 and 19 April). At the 698th meeting, the President stated that the consensus of opinion was that there was no need for any new action by the Council at present, inasmuch as the facts brought to the Council's notice and the possible measures to avert frontier incidents in the area of the Demarcation Line between Egypt and Israel had been fully covered in the resolutions adopted by the Council during the month of March. He trusted that he was expressing the general views of the members of the Council in appealing to both sides to give full effect to the Security Council resolutions of 29 and 30 March, aimed at averting frontier incidents.
(p) Egyptian and Israel complaints of August and September 1955 concerning incidents is the Gaza area
In letters dated 30 and 31 August 1955 (S/3425, S/3426, S/3427), the representative of Israel informed the Security Council of new and grave outbreaks of violence in the Gaza strip, starting on 22 August.
In a letter dated 6 September (S/3431), the representative of Egypt informed the Security Council that since 22 August 1955 Israel armed forces had embarked upon vast military operations culminating on 31 August in an incident in the men of Khan Yunis.
In a report dated 5 September (S/3430), the Chief of Staff stressed, among other things, that a repetition of the incidents would only be avoided if the forces of the opposing sides were separated by an effective physical barrier along the Demarcation Line.
The Council discussed the question at the 700th meeting (8 September 1955) and unanimously adopted a draft resolution (S/3435), by which, among other things, the Council (1) called upon both parties forthwith to take all steps necessary to bring about order and tranquillity in the area; (2) endorsed the view of the Chief of Staff that the armed forces of both parties should be clearly and effectively separated by measures such as those which he had proposed; (3) declared that freedom of movement must be afforded to the United Nations observers in the area; (4) called upon both parties to appoint representatives to meet with the Chief of Staff and to co-operate fully with him to those ends.
(q) Incidents of December 1955 on Lake Tiberias
In a letter dated 13 December 1955 (S/3505), the representative of Syria informed the Council of a large-scale attack launched on the night of 11-12 December by Israel armed forces in the area lying to the east of Lake Tiberias causing considerable loss of life and property.
The Council discussed the question at eight meetings from 16 December 1955 to 19 January 1956 (707th and 709th to 715th meetings).
In a letter dated 21 December 1955 (S/3518), the representative of Israel informed the Council that evidence found on Syrian prisoners proved that Syrian outposts off the north-eastern shore of Lake Tiberias had been instructed to fire upon Israel boats within a limit of 250-400 metres of the shore.
In a report dated 15 December 1955 (S/3516) and a supplement dated 30 December (S/3516/Add.l), the Chief of Staff, after explaining the background of the incident, made certain suggestions to prevent further incidents arising from fishing activities on Lake Tiberias.
On 11 January 1956, the representatives of France, the United Kingdom and the United States submitted a joint draft resolution (S/3530 and Corr.l), under which, among other things, the Council would (1) remind Israel that the Council had already condemned military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreements, whether or not undertaken by way of retaliation, and had called upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent such actions; (2) condemn the attack of 11 December as a flagrant violation of the cease-fire provisions of its resolution of 15 July 1948, of the terms of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria, and of Israel's obligations under the Charter; (3) express its grave concern at the failure of Israel to comply with its obligations; (4) call upon the Government of Israel to do so in the future, in default of which the Council would have to consider what further measures were required to maintain or restore peace; (5) call upon the parties to comply with their obligations under article 5 of the General Armistice Agreement; (6) request the Chief of Staff to pursue his suggestions for improving the situation in the area; and (7) call upon both parties to co-operate with the Chief of Staff in this and all other respects.
The three-Power joint draft resolution was revised twice by its sponsors (S/3530/Rev.2 and Rev.3), to include provisions by which the Council would (1) hold that the Syrian interference with Israel activities on Lake Tiberias reported by the Chief of Staff in no way justified the Israel action; and (2) call upon the parties to arrange with the Chief of Staff for an immediate exchange of all military prisoners.
The Council also had before it two other draft resolutions. There was a Syrian draft resolution (5/3518) which was submitted on 22 December 1955 and which was amended by the representative of the USSR on 9 January 1956; and a Yugoslav draft resolution (S/3536) which was submitted on 18 January 1956.
At the 715th meeting (19 January 1956), the Council decided to grant priority in the voting to the revised three-Power draft resolution (S/3530/Rev.3). At the same meeting on 19 January, the three-Power draft resolution was adopted unanimously.
(r) Resolution of 4 April 1956 concerning the status of compliance given to the General Armistice Agreements and the resolutions of the Security Council Adopted during the past year
In a letter dated 20 March 1956 (S/3561), the representative of the United States requested a meeting of the Council to consider the status of compliance given to the General Armistice Agreements and the resolutions of the Security Council adopted during the past year.
On 21 March 1956, the United States submitted a draft resolution (S/3562 and Corr.l) according to which, among other things, the Council, after recalling its resolutions of 30 March 1955, 8 September 1955 and 19 January 1956, would (1) consider that the situation prevailing between the parties concerning the enforcement of the Armistice Agreements and the compliance given to the above-mentioned resolutions of the Council was such that its continuance was likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security; (2) request the Secretary-General to undertake, as a matter of urgent concern, a survey of the various aspects of enforcement of and compliance with the four General Armistice Agreements and the Council's resolution under reference; (3) request the Secretary-General to arrange with the parties for the adoption of any measures which after discussion with the parties and with the, Chief of Staff he considered would reduce existing tensions along the Armistice Demarcation Lines.
The Security Council discussed the question at six meetings held between 26 March and 4 April 1956 (717th and 722nd meetings). On 3 April, the USSR submitted a number of amendments to the United States draft resolution (S/3574).
On 4 April, the Council rejected these amendments and adopted unanimously the United 'States draft resolution (S/3575).
Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to the Security Council's resolution of 4 April 1956
On 1 June, the representative of Iran submitted an amendment (S/3602) deleting the paragraph of the preamble that referred to the "need to create conditions in which a peaceful settlement on a mutually acceptable basis of the dispute between the parties could be made". On the same day, the representative-of the United Kingdom introduced a second revision (S/3600/Rev.2) to his draft resolution, and on 4 June, accepted the Iranian amendment. The draft resolution thus amended was unanimously adopted on 4 June (S/3605).
Pursuant to the Council's resolution of 4 June 1956, the Secretary-General and the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization continued to exert efforts to implement specific proposals designed to support the cease-fire, in which connexion the Secretary-General again visited the area between 18 and 23 July. They submitted a number of reports to the Council on the situation (S/3632, S/3638, S/3658, S/3659, S/3660, S/3670 and S/3685).
(s) Complaints received from Jordan and Israel in October 1956
In a letter dated 15 October 1956 (S/3678), the representative of Jordan requested an early meeting of the Council to consider the situation arising from an attack by Israel armed forces on 11 October against the villages of Qualquilya, Sufin, Habla and Nabi Ilyas, as well as a similar attack of 25-26 September against the area of Husan.
In a letter dated 17 October (S/3682), the representative of Israel requested that at its forthcoming meeting the Council consider the following complaint against Jordan: "Persistent violations by Jordan of the General Armistice Agreement and of the cease-fire pledge made to the Secretary-General on 26 April 1956."
The Council considered these complaints at two meetings held on 19 and 25 October.
(t) Steps for the immediate cessation of the military action of Israel in Egypt
In a letter dated 29 October 1956 (S/3706), the representative of the United States of America informed the President of the Council that his Government had received information to the effect that, in violation of the Armistice Agreement between Israel and Egypt, the armed forces of Israel had penetrated deep into Egyptian territory in the Sinai area that day. He requested that the Council be convened as soon as possible to consider an item entitled: "The Palestine question: steps for the immediate cessation of the military action of Israel in Egypt."
The Security Council considered this question during three meetings held on 30 October.
At the 749th meeting (30 October), the United States introduced a draft resolution which, as revised (S/3710), (1) called upon Israel and Egypt immediately to cease fire; (2) called upon all Members, inter alia, to refrain from the use or threat of force in the area and to refrain from giving any military, economic or financial assistance to Israel so long as it had not complied with the resolution; and (3) requested the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed on compliance and to make whatever recommendations he deemed appropriate. The draft resolution was put to the vote at the same meeting and was not adopted owing to the negative votes of two permanent members.
The Council also failed to adopt a USSR draft resolution (S/3713/Rev.l) to call upon all the parties concerned immediately to cease fire and to call upon Israel immediately to withdraw its armed forces behind the established armistice lines.
Following the voting on the USSR draft resolution at the 750th meeting (30 October), the Council went on to consider the next item on the agenda of the meeting (see item 32 below - "Letter dated 30 October 1956 from the representative of Egypt addressed to the President of the Security Council").
(u) Complaint submitted in May 1957 by Syria concerning construction by Israel of a bridge in the Demilitarized Zone
In a letter dated 13 May 1957 (S/3827), the representative of Syria requested that the Council consider the situation arising from the construction of a bridge in the Demilitarized Zone, which he charged would give Israel a military advantage and contravened the provisions of the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement. He referred to a report on the subject (S/3815) submitted on 20 April by the Acting Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and stated that he could not concur in the conclusions reached therein.
The Security Council considered this question in the course of three meetings held between 23 and 28 May. Following discussion by the members of the Council and the parties concerned, the President noted that all seemed to agree that it night be appropriate for the Acting Chief of Staff to submit a supplementary report on the matter.
On 27 June 1957, the Acting Chief of Staff submitted a report (S/3844) relating to the Demilitarized Zone established under article V of the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement, and on 7 August he submitted an addendum (S/3844/Add.l).
(v) Complaints submitted by Jordan and Israel in September 1957
In a letter dated 4 September 1957 (S/3878), the representative of Jordan submitted a complaint to the Council for its consideration, charging Israel with violations of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement by carrying out digging operations in No-Man's-Land in the Jerusalem sector.
In a letter dated 5 September (S/3883), the representative of Israel requested that at its forthcoming meeting the Council consider charges by Israel of violations by Jordan of the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement, and in particular of article VIII thereof.
The Security Council considered these complaints at five meetings, on 6 September, 22 November 1957, and 22 January 1958. It decided to hear first the statements of the two interested parties and to postpone until later a decision as to whether the two complaints should be considered simultaneously or consecutively. The President stated his understanding that the Council agreed to request the Acting Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to submit to it two reports on the complaints before it; the first, covering matters raised in the complaint submitted by Jordan, to be submitted within a fortnight. At its 806th meeting, held on 22 November 1957, the Council renewed consideration of the Jordanian complaint.
In compliance with the request of the Council, the Acting Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization submitted a report (S/3892 and Add.l and 2), dated 23 September 1957, on the area between the lines (neutral zone) around the Government House area, and on 31 October he submitted a report (S/3913) relating to the Israel complaint against Jordan, which specifically referred to the provisions cf article VIII, articles I and III, and article XII of the General Armistice Agreement. 6/
At the 809th meeting on 22 January 1958, the United Kingdom and the United States introduced a joint draft resolution (S/3940) under which the Council, noting that the status of the zone was affected by the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement and that neither Israel nor Jordan enjoyed sovereignty over any part of the zone (it being beyond the respective demarcation lines), would: (1) direct the Chief of Staff to regulate activities within the zone subject to such arrangements as night be made pursuant to the revisers of the General Armistice Agreement and paragraph 3 of the resolution, bearing in mind ownership of property there, it being understood that, unless otherwise naturally agree, Israelis should not be allowed to use Arab-owned properties and Arabs should not be allowed to use Israel-owned properties; (2) direct the Chief of Staff to conduct a survey of property records with a view to determining property ownership in the zone; (3) endorse the recommendations of the Acting Chief of Staff to the end that: (a) the parties should discuss through the Mixed Armistice Commission civilian activities in the zone; (b) in order to create an atmosphere more conducive to fruitful discussion, activities in the zone, such as those initiated by Israelis on 21 July 1957, should be suspended until such time as the survey would have been completed and provisions made for the regulation of activities in the zone; (c) such discussions should be completed within a period of two months.
At its 810th meeting on 22 January 1958, the Council adopted the joint draft resolution unanimously.
4/ In its resolution i&6 (S-2) adopted an 14 May 1948, the General Assembly had empowered a United Nations Mediator to promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine, and relieved the Palestine Commission of further responsibility under resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. The Mediator was directed to conform with such instructions as the General Assembly or the Security Council might issue.
5/ Meanwhile, at its 207th meeting (11 May 1949), the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Security Council, had decided to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.
6/ The Security Council did not consider further the item submitted by Israel in the period covered by this report.