Question of Palestine home
9 November 1953
Held on 9 November 1953, at 3 p.m.
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. The Palestine question
Compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements, with special reference to recent acts of violence, and in particular to the incident at Qibya on 14-15 October 1953: report by the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The Palestine question
Compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements, with special reference to recent acts of violence, and in particular to the incident at Qibya on 14-15 October 1953 (S/3109, S/3110, S/3111)
REPORT BY THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE TRUCE
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Eban, repre-sentative of Israel, Mr. Haikal, representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan, and Major General Bennike, Chief of Staff of the Untied Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, took places at the Council table.
1. Major General BENNIKE (Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization): I wish to inform the President and members of the Security Council that I have prepared replies to the questions addressed to me orally during the 632nd meeting of the Council and to those submitted sub-sequently in writing. Questions were received from the following delegations: the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Greece, Lebanon and Israel, as well as from the representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan.
2. As representatives know, my replies were circulated to members of the Security Council and to the interested parties as a United Nations Press release prior to this meeting. In order to save the Council's time I would, therefore, ask that I should not be required to read them now and that the Council should decide to have them annexed to the official record of the present meeting.
3. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
General Bennike is proposing not to read the text of his replies to the written questions put to him. This text would then be annexed to the record of the present meeting. It has been my impression both today and during the past few days that Council members would approve this procedure which I shall follow if there are no objections.
4. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): I am grateful to the President and to the Council for ruling that this document will appear in the verbatim record of the proceedings of the meeting. I think it is only right that it should be one of the official records of our proceedings. At the same time, I feel that it is necessary for the Council to hear these replies in formal session. If I remember correctly, at the time we put these questions to General Bennike, the President asked him whether he was prepared to reply then to the oral questions, and he said that he would like to have some time in which to think over his replies. If he had been ready at the time, he would have answered and his replies would have been heard in public while the Council was in session. Therefore, the accident of his not being ready at the time led the Council to agree to postponing the hearing of the answers, and now that they are before us and representatives have read them, it seems to me to be the right procedure to have these questions and answers heard in public. I quite understand that it will take some time, but I believe it is important and, since there would be no interpretation of General Bennike's remarks, it would take less time than some of our own speeches.
5. Consequently, I request that these replies not only be put in the verbatim record of the Council's pro-ceedings, but that they be heard in public while the Council is in session. Obviously, if the Council should decide otherwise, there would be nothing to prevent any representative from asking permission sooner or later to read them out himself, but it seems to me that it would be better to hear them in General Bennike's own voice since they are the expression of his thought. That is my formal proposal, namely, that we hear these replies in public from General Bennike.
6. Mr. KYROU (Greece): May I begin by expressing to General Bennike my deep appreciation for the answer which he was kind enough to give to my question. His answer, as it appears in the press release, fully covers the point I raised.
7. As for the point of order raised by Mr. Malik, I think we must go back to the actual facts in order to understand his apprehensions. Representatives will remember that the Council agreed, following a sugges-tion made by Mr. Vyshinsky, not to meet again until twenty-four hours after, General Bennike had presented in writing his answers to the different questions put to him. These answers were circulated, thanks to the diligence of the Secretariat, on the afternoon of last Saturday. I understand that Mr. Malik was in Washington and, possibly, has not found time to read them. Could be not, then, agree to accept the President's suggestion to have these answers annexed to the verbatim record of this meeting and, if there are some _supplementary questions arising out of the answers, let them be put to General Bennike at our next meeting on this subject?
Perhaps this suggestion would relieve me of the apprehensions of Mr. Malik.
8 The PRESIDENT
(translated from French): I
should like to point out first that the proposal to dis-pense with the reading of the questions addressed to General Bennike and of his replies to them did not come from the Chair but from General Bennike himself. All I did was to point out that if such a procedure did not raise any objections in the Council I should be glad to follow it. However, objections have been raised by Mr. Malik. Before taking any decision, I should like Council members who have any opinions on the matter to state them, as Mr. Kyrou has already done.
9. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): As I have said, the perfectly regular procedure is to have these answers read to us, and it is an irregular procedure not to have them read. Why should we follow such an irregular procedure? I can see no reason.
10. The President has said that the reading of the answers may take up this whole meeting. Well, it is better for us to hear the answers from the mouth of the General, without any necessity of having them interpreted, than to hear them at a later point from the mouth of some representative on the Council, when all of us will have to listen to an interpretation. It therefore seems to me that it is right and proper and, in the long run, certainly economical of our time to hear the answers, once and for all, now.
11. As I have said, I have heard no real ground for not having the General read the answers. I am grateful to the representative of Greece for trying to rationalize my position in the way he has done, on the ground that I was absent. But I was acting far more from a sense of what should be the regular procedure of the Council than from any personal necessity of my own due to my having been absent and unable to read the answers.
12. I therefore once again request the members of the Council to take into consideration what I have said and to ask the General to change his mind about the request he has just put to us concerning the reading of this text. I think it is better for us to have it read by him and to have us, while in formal session, hear it from his mouth. I therefore still urge my proposal.
13. Mr. BORBERG (Denmark): I do not know whether there is a precedent for this. We decided the other day that we should have a meeting twenty-four hours after the documents had been distributed, and no one asked at that time that we should again have these replies read to us here.
14. What is the actual situation? This document is now in the hands of the Press. It is a public document. With all due respect to the hundreds of people sitting here who are trying to follow what is going on in the Security Council, I feel that it is much more important for the Council to get down to business in this matter. We are holding this meeting because of a massacre that took place and, as the Security Council, we must try to discover what we can do to prevent further incidents and what we can do to improve the situation. I shall certainly vote against reducing the Security Council to a public ceremony.
15. Sir Gladwyn JEBB (United Kingdom): On the whole, I associate myself with what has been said by the representative of Denmark.
16. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): What the representative of Denmark has said is quite true. Nothing was said the other day about the answers to the questions being read to the Council, but, at the same time, nothing was said against it. I certainly was not prepared for this situation until this afternoon, when all of a sudden, after I arrived here, it was brought to my attention that there was some kind of agreement on this matter. I do not think it will be conducive to proper procedure if agreements on such important procedural matters are made between some members in the absence of other members. What will the public say? What will the world say? The world will say that there are matters in this text which certain members, for reasons of their own, do not want to have read in public. It is true that the document is a public document now. I but it is one thing for it to be a public document and another thing for it to be read in public at a meeting of the Security Council.
17. Therefore, I would plead with my colleagues from the United Kingdom and Denmark to change their minds about this point. I repeat, it seems to me that I would be fully within the rules of procedure if I asked for the floor and read the document myself. It seems to me that nothing can prevent me from doing that; I do not think the Council can silence me. I do not know whether it can, I am requesting only that we should deal with this matter in a regular manner. I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no need for that. As a matter of fact, if General Bennike had begun to read this document at the beginning of this afternoon's meeting, by this time he would probably have reached the seventh or eighth page and would have reached the end in a reasonable time. Now we have wasted these precious minutes discussing whether or not the document should be read to the Council. It would be more conducive to better and regular procedure if the document were read by General Bennike himself.
18. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
As representative of FRANCE, I support the proposal made by General Bennike. I consider that if, at the 632nd meeting, we adopted Mr. Vyshinsky's suggestion to allow a delay of at least twenty-four hours between the distribution of General Bennike's replies and the meeting at which those replies would be examined, it was precisely because we did not want to consider those replies for the first time during the meeting itself but wished to allow ourselves sufficient time beforehand to acquaint ourselves fully with them. In other words, if we had thought that General Bennike would read his replies during the meeting, there would have been no need for a delay of twenty-four hours between the time those replies were made and the time when he could inform us of them.
19. I think, moreover, that the questions and replies have taken up rather more space than we anticipated. In fact, I do not see why we should inflict on the Council, and even on the public, the waste of time which would result from reading a document which everyone here has before him and a copy of which any interested member of the public can obtain immediately.
20. Mr. Malik has told us that if General Bennike did not read his replies, any member of the Council when speaking might read them instead, so that we should waste the additional time necessary for the translation of such extracts.
21. As PRESIDENT of the Council I would be the last person to deny the right of any member to speak for as long as he thinks fit during a general debate or to read out any document he wishes, I must however point out to Mr. Malik that there is a difference between rights and expediencies. I do not believe that it would be expedient for a Council member to inflict on his colleagues such a reading after a decision to the contrary had been taken.
22. 1 therefore rule that General Bennike's request shall be complied with and that he shall not read the questions put to him nor his replies but that those questions and replies shall be annexed tomorrow to the record of this meeting. Since this ruling has been questioned, I shall put it to the vote immediately after the translation of this statement.
23. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): I wish to speak on a point of order. I first made a motion and now the President is making a ruling. I have not yet had a chance to challenge it or not to challenge it. I do not know why the President prefers to make a ruling and force me to challenge it rather than put my simple original motion to the decision of the Security Council. Of course it is for the President to decide as he likes.
24. I heard the President say at the very beginning that the general favored this procedure. I then moved that the report should be read. Now the President is making the ruling. But there is no need for that round-about way. The Security Council can consider my motion and decide whatever it pleases concerning the matter.
25. 1 should only like to add, while I am speaking on his point of order, that I have just been informed that it is simply not true that the text is available for everybody. There are delegations here in the United Nations who asked for copies of this text and they were refused. There is something secretive about this whole affair; the more it is protracted, the more it will be talked about and the more the truth will come out.
26. There is no reason at all for that procedure. We could have heard the report from the very beginning; by now we probably would have heard about a third of it and we would be approaching the end of the reading of the text.
27. Furthermore, you spoke, Mr. President, of what is right
and what is right by propriety. I assure you, in the same spirit with which you spoke, that I would be the last person to inflict any impropriety upon my colleagues here. But it is also a fact that I was faced with a certain impropriety this afternoon when, all of a sudden, I was told that this text was not going to be read. I was not prepared for that. Certainly when we parted last week nobody said that in view of the twenty-four hours delay which Mr. Vyshinsky asked the general would dispense with reading his replies in public.
28. Consequently, I would be the last person to take the initiative in inflicting any impropriety upon anyone, least of all upon my colleagues here. But this is an important matter' and, as I said, there are delegations who have asked for copies of the text and they have not received it. It is simply not available for some reason or other. I would ask the President to make sure, through the Secretary-General who is sitting here, that this situation should not take place in the United Nations. Something is happening with regard to this report.
29. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French): I
shall now call on the Secretary-General so that he may reply to Mr. Malik's question.
30. The SECRETARY-GENERAL: The text circulated last Saturday in accordance with the decision of the Security Council was circulated as a Press release. If Mr. Malik will look at the text, he will see that there is printed on the first page the fact that it may not be used before three o'clock, Monday, 9 November. It is obviously a matter of courtesy that it should not be published and should not be circulated before this very discussion. I think the discussion shows very clearly that it is not only courteous but it is also wise not to give this text wider publicity than the one strictly necessary for Security Council purposes before the meeting of the Council.
31. Having asked to speak in order to reply to Mr. Malik's question, I should like to add that a rather irregular procedure was chosen this time by the Security Council having an advance circulation of replies and I think it is but proper that this arrangement should also have its reflection in further measures in order to expedite the work of the Security Council. It is, from the point of view of the Secretariat, a slightly awkward position to have to hold an advance Press release before distribution. But I can assure the representative of Lebanon that there is nothing secretive about it.
32. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
I would point out to the Secretary-General that the Security Council is not responsible for the fact that this document has been distributed in the form of a Press release. I must say that I was somewhat surprised when I was told that it would be published in this form. I took the view that it should be published as a Security Council document and distributed to members, and only then released for the public. I was informed that for reasons of convenience which I accepted, though they did not seem to me to carry much weight, it would be better to publish the document in that form. But I repeat that the Security Council is not responsible for the irregular procedure mentioned by the Secretary-General.
33. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): I have no doubt that what the Secretary-General has just told us is the information which he has obtained and which, in his opinion, is the right information. At the, same time, I myself have different information. The information which I have is that at least two delegations, at 3.30 p.m. two delegations to the United Nations asked for this report and it was refused them. There we have an obvious conflict of facts. I may be mistaken, but that is the information which keeps coming to me persistently, and apparently the Secretary-General denied that it is true I, therefore, request that a simple
investigation be conducted to find out whether this fact I have just stated is true or not, or whether I have been misinformed. The information I have is that at least two delegations this afternoon, after we began the meeting, asked for this report and they were denied it on the grounds that it is only for the Press and not for regular delegations.
34. I should like to know whether Press releases are denied delegations. At least I was told that this happened this afternoon. There seems to be a contradiction. If there is a contradiction between the information at the disposal of the Secretary-General and the information I have, this can be cleared up by a very simple investigation.
35. A SECRETARY-GENERAL: Of course, I shall go into the matter to see what has happened, because it is quite obvious that a communication, the very moment it is published, should be available not only to the Press but to delegations as well and with priority; that goes without saying.
36. I may add, concerning the heading "Press release" that that special technical detail was for reasons of convenience which were, as the President pointed out, entirely the responsibility of the Secretariat. My argument referred to the fact that we had the replies of General Bennike circulated in document form before the replies were given here.
37. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
We shall now proceed to the vote, I call on the repre-sentative of Lebanon.
38. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): I do not know in what form the President wants to put this question to the vote. For my part, after this exchange of views which has just taken place, I am not going to insist on my first motion. If the President has made a ruling, I am not aware that anybody has challenged it. I do not know what he is going to put to the vote.
39. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
I may perhaps have used the term "ruling" somewhat loosely. I said at the beginning of the meeting that I would put to the Council the question whether it accepted General Bennike's proposal. That is the way in which I was proposing to consult the Council.
40. If Mr. Malik does not press for a vote on the matter, I shall assume that the Council has no objection to accepting General Bennike's request and decides that the questions and answers shall not be read out.
41. If no member of the Council wishes to speak, I shall take it that the Council agrees that the document containing General Bennike's replies to the questions put to him by members orally and in writing should be annexed to the record of the meeting. I
It was so decided.
42. Sir Gladwyn JEBB (United Kingdom): We have now all had the opportunity to study the report prepared by General Bennike for presentation to the Security Council and to give, at any rate, some preliminary attention to the answers he has given to the greater part of the large number of detailed and complicated questions put to him by various delegations. I should like to express the thanks of my delegation to General Bennike and his staff for all the care and hard work which they have given to this task. I am sure the information he has made available to us will be of the greatest value to the Security Council in enabling it to arrive at a correct assessment of the circumstances surrounding the tragic event on which the eyes of the world have recently been focused.
43. In my statement of 20 October
I said that I would wish to express my Government's views at greater length after some examination of the substance of this question. Having now considered the detailed report on the raid on Qibya prepared by the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, Commander Hutchison, and included in the Chief of Staff's report, as well as the supplementary information contained in the answers to the questions put to General Bennike, my Government, on the evidence so far sub-mitted, is in full agreement with the view expressed by the, Chief of Staff - namely, that the technical arguments tending to show that Israel military forces werb implicated are completely convincing.
44. As we all know, Israel has already been condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for this incident in the following terms:
The crossing of the demarcation line by a force approximating one half of a battalion from the Israel regular army, fully equipped, into Qibya village on the night of 14-15 October 1953 to attack, the inhabitants by firing from automatic weapons and throwing grenades and using bangalore torpedoes together with TNT explosive, by which forty-one dwelling houses and a school building were com-pletely blown up, resulting in the cold-blooded murder of forty-two lives, including men, women [and]' children, and the wounding of fifteen persons, and the damage of a police car, [and) at the same time, the crossing of a part of the same group into Shuqba village, [are] a breach of article III, paragraph 2 of the General Armistice Agreement.
"(b) The shelling by a supporting unit to that force by three-inch mortar guns from across the demarcation line on Budrus village, which resulted in the damage of some houses and a bus and the wounding of an N.C.O. in charge of the National Guards, is a breach of the article III, paragraph 3 of the General Armistice Agreement 2.
"The Mixed Armistice Commission decides that it is extremely important that the Israel authorities should take immediately the most vigorous measures to prevent the recurrence of such aggressions against Jordan and its citizens."
45. The question is, does the Security Council share the opinion of the Mixed Armistice Commission, and
in particular does it believe with the Chief of Staff that the raid was the work of Israel military forces?
46. With the greatest respect, I suggest that the broadcast statement made by the Prime Minister of Israel on 19 October 1953, does not in itself preclude such a conclusion, since that statement only denied the allegation that 600 men of the Israel defense forces took part in the action and asserted that no unit was absent from its base on the night of the attack on Qibya.
47. The Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, however, considered that some 250 to 300 well-trained soldiers took part in the operation, and pointed out that the approaches to the village passed through an area protected by Israel military forces.
48. Whether this body consisted of regulars or of militia has really no bearing on the case. In either event it was a disciplined, organized, well-armed Israel military force. In the view of Her Majesty's Government, therefore, it is very difficult for the Israel Government to escape responsibility for the attack.
49. Her Majesty's Government has, in any case, already stated that in its view there was no possible justification for such action and, through Her Majesty's Ambassador in Tel Aviv, it has informed the Israel Government of its horror at this apparently calculated attack. The further information that has come to hand and the increased toll of life can only confirm my Government in condemning it and reinforce its opinion that it has constituted a threat to the security of the entire area.
50. I should like to repeat that my Government's feelings would not be very different whether this attack was undertaken by militia, that is to say settlers armed and organized by the Israel authorities, or by the regular army of Israel. The unfortunate thing is that this kind of wholesale and indiscriminate reprisal should be indulged in at all. And the whole situation is made worse by the apparent unwillingness of the Israel Government to punish those responsible and hence, by implication, its willingness to condone it. This can only encourage other such incidents, as well as the growth of a spirit of violence in its citizens, which may bode ill for the future.
51. Now we have heard and read a good deal about the alleged provocation which gave rise to this incident, the increase of tension on the border, the perpetration of crimes by so-called infiltrators, and the alleged failure or inability of both the Jordan Government and the Truce Supervision Organization to control the unau-thorized crossing of the armistice demarcation lines by civilians. I should like to touch on each of these factors of the situation, leaving it to the two parties most directly concerned to dwell upon them in detail, if they deem fit.
52. No one denies the existence of what is called infiltration, nor that it involves the Israelis in loss of life and property. No member of the Council, I am sure, wishes to do anything that might encourage this. No one would deny that the Israel authorities would be justified, and are justified, in using strong measures to check it, in so far as damage to property or loss of life results. But not everyone who crosses the armistice demarcation line does so with criminal intent. Acts of violence are indeed committed, but as the volume of illegal crossings of the demarcation line is so con-siderable, if one is to judge from the available statistics, it seems probable that many crossings are carried out by persons - sometimes, I understand, even by children - with no criminal object in view.
53. It has been alleged that this movement across the lines has been organized and encouraged by high au-thorities in Jordan. That is a matter to which, no doubt, the representative of Jordan will turn his attention. I should like, however, to point out that I do not know of evidence to prove this, whereas there is ample evidence to show that trespassers cross the line on their own responsibility and in the full knowledge that they may pay for doing so with their lives. The trouble about such a reprisal raid as that at Qibya is that it will probably only result in a growth in the number of persons who decide to cross into Israel to revenge themselves by taking life for life. Thus this reprisal raid may bring upon Israel the very thing which it has hoped to stop. Trespassers may now enter Israel in a spirit of revenge prepared to commit desperate acts; and Israel may then retaliate with more raids, until the fabric of the Armistice Agreement, by which both sides are bound to keep the peace, is torn to shreds and general hostilities follow.
54. Clearly the situation arising from this vicious circle must be controlled before it gets completely out of hand. Israel accuses Jordan of failure to control its own civilians, and of inability to take the necessary measures to prevent them from crossing the armistice demarcation lines, or of punishing them severely enough when they are caught and tried. But there are great difficulties inherent in this problem. There is the nature and length of the border. There is the whole history of these last years. These things must be taken into account.
55. In the circumstances, it seems that only by local co-operation between the police and defense forces of the two countries can an adequate degree of control over infiltration, as it is called, be achieved. For this reason, my Government has always viewed with favor the existence and operation of local commanders' agree-ments, and has used its good offices to have them restored whenever they have been cancelled or broken off. We think it is a mistake to decry them, as some have done, as being of too minor a degree of importance to be effective. After all, one should walk before one tries to run, and only by observance of the terms of local commanders' agreements and the consequent liberation of the Mixed Armistice Commission from too much detail, can the general tension along the border decrease and an atmosphere less Prejudicial to the settlement of differences be created.
56. According to our reports and General Bennike has confirmed this, I think, in reply to
one of my ques-tions the period until a few days before the attack on Qibya, was one of comparative calm, as distinct from events in the demilitarized zones on the Syrian and Egyptian borders. That there were incidents cannot be denied, and the attack on the house at Yahud
involving the murder of a woman and two children, drew, and drew very properly, a sharp condemnation from the Mixed Armistice Commission against Jordan. We have heard from General Bennike that the Jordan representative himself described it as a horrible crime, and said that an investigation had already been started in Jordan. We have also heard how he appealed to the Israel representative to ask that there should be no retaliatory action, and how there was co-operation between the Jordan and Israel authorities, with the help of General Bennike and his staff, in seeking out the criminals. This was a dreadful and distressing incident, but I would repeat that there was evidence of a decrease in tension in the border area before it took place. General Bennike has referred [630th
to the efficacy of local commanders' meetings, which were taking place during this period. He states "the results achieved by this first method may 'not be spectacular; they may be slow. The method is, however, effective to the extent actually possible: if it does not suppress, it diminishes infiltration and its dangers". That is what General Bennike said. It seems to my Government that if this is so both sides would derive considerable benefit by ensuring that such agreements are strictly observed. This can be done, of course, only by co-operation between the competent authorities on either side.
57. Such voluntary action by the Governments of Israel and Jordan would be of great assistance to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. The officers and observers in that organization have, as we all know, a very arduous and, indeed, a very invidious task. They have to depend upon the goodwill, and the offer of full facilities in investigation, of both sides. Should these facilities be withheld the observers are hindered in the proper performance of the duties placed upon them by the Armistice Agreement and, indeed, by the Chief of Staff. Any such obstruction is likely to lead to a decline in the ability of the observers to provide accurate reports of the result of their investigations, Irresponsible persons could then profit by the knowledge that their actions might escape notice, and a general deterioration could then set in, with very serious consequences to one side or the other. Therefore, my Government considers that it is of the highest impor-tance that both the parties to the Armistice Agreement should respect the officers of the Truce Supervision Organization and give them full facilities in the performance of their duties. Combined with the proper observance of the local commanders' agreements this freedom of investigation may well result in a marked improvement in the general atmosphere. At least, that is our hope.
58. I should like at this point particularly to mention the very difficult position in which, as we see it, the Jordan Government has been placed by reprisal raids. Without breaking the Armistice Agreement it cannot authorize any retaliatory action by its own forces. It is obliged to exercise restraint and to control the more turbulent elements of its population. It has for some time past been taking measures to stop infiltration and to punish those who are caught. The Israel Government must realize that the statements it makes about the inability of the inhabitants of its own country to put up with the situation apply at least in equal measure to the inhabitants of Jordan. Both Governments have signed a General Armistice Agreement, and both Governments are bound by its terms. The life of these Armistice Agreements has lasted longer than originally con-templated, but they do remain as bulwarks against a general breakdown of peaceful conditions, and must therefore not be undermined or ignored in the search for some smaller, local advantage. The Security Council is directly interested through the Chief of Staff in the observance of the terms of the Armistice Agreement by both parties, and expects them to comply fully with its provisions, including those which provide for its modi-fication by agreement between the two parties.
59. In conclusion, let me just say this. However much the Israelis may consider that they have been provoked - and, as I have said, there is some doubt about the exact extent of the provocation -it is sad, we think, that the
should apparently find such ready acceptance among a small people, themselves composed for the most part of refugees who have suffered un-speakable hardships and oppressions. It is human to err. All of us, as nations, have done things which we would prefer to forget. No nation is perfect. But if the small liberal democracy which, we believe, the sons of Israel are seeking to establish in Palestine is to preserve the sympathy of its friends throughout the world, then we suggest that it would certainly be well advised not to try to show, as some of the Israel Press have sought to show, that the destruction of a village in Jordan territory and the slaughter of its inhabitants, most of whom were undoubtedly quite innocent, was thoroughly justified, and indeed the logical and final result of a chain of incidents. We can, indeed, regard this raid in its context, and against the whole unhappy background of the relations of Israel with its neighbors. We can, and we should, do our utmost to rectify a situation fraught with dangerous possibilities and to diminish the mutual hatred and recrimination which must necessarily result from the continuance of a state of war and the failure up till now to agree on a frontier. But that does not mean that we should seek to find any excuse for the raid on Qibya itself. I can hardly believe that any member of the Council will try to excuse that. And my earnest hope is that the representative of Israel when he comes to speak will, on consideration, not seek to excuse it either.
60. Mr. LODGE (United States of America): As was made clear by the United States Government shortly before the Security Council decided to inscribe this item on the agenda, there appears to be no doubt concerning the facts of the military action which took place in Qibya. The testimony by General Bennike confirms the fact that this action was a violation of the cease-fire resolution of the Security Council of 15 July 1948 [S/902] and of the Jordan-Israel General Armistice Agreement. We therefore subscribe to the statements in the speech of the representative of the United Kingdorm bearing on this point.
61. We would expect the Security Council to take action only after the representatives of Israel and Jordan have been heard, and we shall listen with careful to what they say. We reserve our right to speak again thereafter.
(translated from French):
Speaking as the representative of FRANCE, I wish to state that my delegation does not intend to speak today on the substance of the question, for we shall feel competent to do so only after examining more closely the re lies made by General Bennike to the questions put to him and after hearing the representatives of Israel and Jordan.
63. I must, however, point out today that my delegation is in full agreement with the general lines of the Speech just made by the United Kingdom representative and shares his feelings on the grievous and tragic incidents which have led to this Council meeting. The feelings of horror and disapproval provoked by the Qibya massacre in France have been a measure of my country's feelings for the people of Israel so many of whose sons suffered side by side with ours under the German yoke and mingled their blood with that of many martyrs of the French resistance. If there is one nation which, in our eyes, has less than any other the right to take vengeance on innocent people, it is the one linked by racial and spiritual bonds to the millions of innocent victims of Nazism during recent years. It is with all the greater sorrow, but with no less firmness than other delegations, that my own delegation is compelled to associate itself with the condemnation already expressed here for the action undertaken by the armed forces of Israel against the inhabitants of the village of Qibya. The fact that such an action cannot be lifted out of its general historical context is no extenuation of it.
64. My delegation, I repeat, reserves the right during the coming debate to revert to the circumstances surrounding this action and to examine how the Security Council can contribute, whether by the adoption of resolutions or recommendations or, at the same time, by the support it may give to its representatives on the spot, towards the improvement of the situation on the frontiers between Jordan and Israel.
65. Mr. KYROU (Greece): My delegation also reserves its right to come back to this question after we have heard the representatives of Israel and Jordan. My hope is that the representative of Israel, when he -speaks, will find the way to condemn in the name of his Government, in the most categorical manner, the horrible massacres perpetrated in Qibya, and eventually inform us that disciplinary measures have already been initiated against the perpetrators of these massacres.
66. Mr. Charles MALIK (Lebanon): I will say only a few words at this stage in the development of this important affair. I listened with great interest to the statements which have just been made by the representative of the United Kingdom, by the President and by the representatives of the United States and of Greece, I hope the Council will, in fact, I am sure it will continue its consideration of this item in the same spirit of fairness, justice, and restraint which has been shown so far. For my part, I will do my utmost to maintain that spirit of restraint.
67. I should like to add one or two remarks. I hope that the representatives around this table will not only read the two documents which General Bennike has placed in our hands, but will also ponder on them as deeply and as critically as possible. I think they are worthy of a thorough study.
68. Then I should like to say that as I read these documents with the care they deserve, I could not help arriving at a few conclusions in a spirit of complete objectivity. I shall try to place these conclusions before the Council at the appropriate moment. I shall do so in a form which a great philosopher of the seventeenth century adopted. There lived, in the seventeenth century, a famous man whom I deeply respect, although I do not follow his philosophy. His personality and his life are a constant source of inspiration to me. I refer, of course, to the great philosopher, Spinoza. Spinoza wrote a great work on ethics, and in it he tried to prove by the mathematical method about two hundred funda-mental propositions concerning God and the nature of the universe. Obviously, that method appealed a great deal in the seventeenth century, the century of Newton, Leibnitz, and Descartes. This method appealed a great deal to the minds of the civilized Western European world. I shall follow Spinoza's method. I shall try to state a dozen or so fundamental propositions that can be easily deduced from these two documents before us, without any reference to any other documents extraneous to the ones General Bennike has put in our hands.
69. I shall try to prove every one of these dozen or so propositions by the strictest mathematical method. If my proof is correct, I shall then be entitled at the end to add precisely what Spinoza added at the end of every proof of his Q.E.D. I shall use this method with the greatest restraint and in a spirit of complete objectivity, and without trying to be provocative in any manner whatsoever. I think the only way in which we can all be helpful in the present tragic circumstances is to use restraint and to refrain from provocation.
70. To conclude, I shall only say that it is my sincere and earnest hope that the Security Council, in this instance, mindful as I am sure it is, of its great respon-sibilities for the maintenance of peace and security in the Near East and for promoting conditions under which peace could really flourish in that unhappy part of the world, will act firmly and justly and with due consideration to all the known and ascertained facts.
71. 1 wish to assure the President and the members at this table that if the Security Council, in this glaring instance, should act in that spirit and in that manner, we may then all hope that conditions may improve in our part of the world and that peace and security may be strengthened.
72. Mr. EBAN (Israel): I have listened with interest and care to the observations which have been made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Greece and Lebanon, and I have also given some preliminary study to the replies just pub-lished on behalf of the Chief of Staff, of the
73. My chief conclusion is that the basic facts of the security situation on Israel's four frontiers, as they appear from within those frontiers, should be told and should be told in full. I have prepared a comprehensive survey of that situation with accompanying maps and documents but it would, I am afraid, take the better part of two hours for me to make that survey and to explain our specific proposal for strengthening peace and security in the Middle East. I shall of course have something to say about Qibya and the preceding and surrounding tragedies which have convulsed the peace and security of our region, and the observations made by the representative of the United Kingdom will invite our attention to ways and means, not so far used, whereby governments with direct influence in the area may use that influence to restore peace on this frontier from which Israel was invaded in 1948 and which has recently been the scene of tragic and regrettable events.
74. Since the compass of this question is so wide, I should be glad if the Security Council would agree to give me the opportunity of making this presentation at the beginning of its next meeting on this subject. I have been given to understand that members of the Security Council have a priority in the right of speech over invited Members of the United Nations, but on other hand the viewpoints of the only Government which lives within all four of these frontiers and which as to operate all of these agreements may perhaps, as some representatives have indicated, be an important element in any further consideration of this question. For that reason, I should not like to enter the substance of this complicated matter now, but I should be able, I hope to make a moderate and constructive contribution to the Security Council's discussions if I were given the opportunity to address it at the beginning of next meeting.
75. The PRESIDENT
(translated from French):
understand him correctly, the representative of Israel is asking me to place him at the head of the list of speakers for the next meeting. Provided that no member
the Council wishes to speak before him, his request will be met.
76. The next meeting will take place tomorrow morning at 10.30. The agenda of that meeting will consist of the complaint by Syria against Israel concerning work on the west bank of the River Jordan in the demilitarized zone.
77. If members
the Council have no objection the next meeting to consider the Qibya incident and related questions will be held next Thursday, 12 November, at 3 p.m.
It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 5.15 p.m.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS PUT TO MAJOR GENERAL VAGN BENNIKE, CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE UNITED NATIONS TRUCE SUPERVISION ORGANIZATION, EITHER ORALLY AT THE 632ND MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON 29 OCTOBER, OR IN WRITING UP TO 3 NOVEMBER 1953.
Questions put but the representative of the United Kingdom
1. On 19 October 1953, the Prime Minister of Israel broadcast a statement on the Qibya incident in which he denied that 600 men of the Israel defense forces took part in the action against the village and said that investigation showed that not a single army unit was absent from its base on the night in question. Has General Bennike any comments to make on that statement?
The information on the Qibya incident which I submitted to the Security Council on 27 October
was based on reports received from United Nations observers and in particular from the senior officer who is acting chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission. I also quoted his memorandum which gave in detail the reasoning upon which he based his decision to vote as he did. I have no additional information upon which I could base any further comment.
2. Two nights before the Qibya incident, alleged infiltrators killed a woman and two children by throwing a hand grenade into a house in the Israel village of Yahud. It has been alleged that this may have provoked the retaliatory raid on Qibya. Would General Bennike tell us what steps were taken to clear up this earlier incident and whether the Jordan authorities were co-operating in any way?
The village of Yahud is situated about 10 kilometers north of Lydda and 10 kilometers from the armistice line. The murder of the Israeli woman and her two children took place on the night of 12-13 October at about 0130 local time. Immediately following the receipt of the Israeli complaint, United Nations observers went from Jerusalem to Yahud on 13 October at about 0600 local time to carry out an investi-gation. There was no evidence on the ground to indicate who had committed the crime. An Israeli dog trainer and a blood-hound were brought to the scene in an attempt to pick up tracks. The dog was shown a footprint outside the window of the attacked house and started tracking towards the East. This information was passed to the Jordanians who offered, if the tracks led to the border, to allow the dog handler to enter Jordan and requested that the Israelis permit him to do so. This was agreed to by Israel. Late in the afternoon of 13 October the tracking party reached the demarcation line after having tracked approximately 15 kilometers from the scene of the incident. The United Nations observer who had gone to the area on the Jordanian side of the Armistice Line with the Jordanian investigating party then accompanied the Israeli dog handler and the dog as they tracked into Jordan, as did one of the United Nations observers who had been on the Israeli side. The tracks led into Jordan for about 1,400 metres and were lost on the road near the police station outside of Rantis. The reason given by the dog master for the dog losing the tracks was that traffic along the road had caused dust to settle over the tracks. The dog was allowed to search the area in an attempt to recover the scent he was following, but each time he returned to the road. The dog master stated that the tracks were lost at this point on the road. The information that the tracks had led into Jordan was passed to the Jordan delegate to the Mixed Armistice Commission. Early on the morning of 14 October, General Glubb, Chief of Staff of the Arab Legion, flew from Amman to Jerusalem and, at his request, a meeting was immediately arranged between him and the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission. This meeting took place at about 0800 local time. The Chief of Staff of the Arab Legion expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the Israel authorities. The General further stated that he and his staff were personally taking an interest in the case of the murders at Yahud., They would do their utmost to bring those guilt y to justice, if they were in Jordan territory. The gist of this conversation was immediately communicated to the Israeli authorities. moreover, thought that I should inform the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army personally, adding my appreciation of the co-operation between Israeli and Jordan authorities and my hope that it would continue in the future. My letter was forwarded to the Chief of Staff who was at the time away from his headquarters, supervising the autumn manoeuvres of the Israeli* Army.
The Mixed Armistice Commission met on 14 October at 0940 local time to discuss the Yahud incident. The Jordan Delegate stated in the meeting: "As I said, this is a horrible crime. We don't know yet who are the criminals and I want to say to Major Nutov (the senior Israeli delegate) that it would be better to wait for the investigation started on the Jordan side. This investigation started early this morning. The Chief of Staff of the Arab Legion himself is going to carry out the investigation, At the same time I want to ask Major Nutov to ask his people not, to retaliate. If any retaliatory action is taken, then the whole issue will be difficult and it will confuse the investigation on our side."
3. General Bennike has remarked upon the efficacy of the local commanders' agreement. Would he say if this is considered by both sides to be of value?
The two governments do not attribute the same value to the agreement The fundamental difference in the attitude of the two countries may be explained by the fact that in Israel, responsibility for border security rests with the Israel defense forces and the Israel authorities hold that illegal crossings of the demarcation line by Arab civilians and the incidents connected with such crossings would greatly diminish if, on the Jordan side also, the defense forces were made responsible for border security. The Jordan authorities, for which civilian infiltration is a matter for the police authorities and not for the defense forces, have attributed more importance to the local commanders' agreement and to regular meetings of local commanders, especially where the local commander is a representative of the police department. At present, all local commanders on the Jordan side are police officers assigned to investigate incidents and maintain control over a certain sector of the demarcation line. In Israel, army officers or police officers have been assigned as local commanders to investigate incidents and to maintain control. In some instances, the Israeli local commander, if a police officer, will be accompanied by a representative of the army, and also the local commander, if an army officer, will sometimes be accompanied by a police officer. It seems that in most cases, where an army officer is present, he takes over the Israeli representation.
I may add that United Nations observers who have attended local commanders' meetings have stated that on both sides local commanders in general, and particularly police officers, consider the agreement to be of value.
4. Would the Chief of Staff say that, since this agreement was signed early in June 1953, there has been until recently and on the whole an improvement in the Jordan-Israel boundary areas?
During the three months preceding June, when there was no local commanders' agreement, 143 incidents occurred for which complaints were handed to the Mixed Armistice Commission. During July, August and September, when the new local commanders' agreement was in full force, 77 incidents occurred for which complaints were handed to the Mixed Armistice Commission. Between 8 and 11 local com-manders' meetings have been held weekly at different points along the demarcation line. In each of these meetings an average of one or two problems have been settled. The above figures confirm the impression that, following the signature of the local commanders' agreement on 8 June, there has been until recently and on the whole an improvement in the Jordan-Israel border areas.
An improvement was also noted by my predecessor, General Riley, after the signature of the first agreement on measures to curb infiltration (30 January -1952). In a report to the
Security Council, dated 30 October 1952 [S/2833], he refers to the fact that, between 31 January and 4 May 1952, the majority of complaints were settled by agreement in weekly or semi-weekly conferences of local commanders representing both military and police agencies and meeting at specified points along the demarcation line. Following a series of particularly serious incidents, there was a change in procedure: the com-plaints were henceforth referred to the Mixed Armistice Commission for discussion, as well as to the local commanders. This change did not alter the effectiveness of the local com-manders' meetings which, in General Riley's words, continued "as a means of securing increased co-operation on the local enforcement level. Measures so agreed upon have been responsible for a significant drop in both the number and seriousness of cases of infiltration, border crossings and smuggling" [S/2833,
5. I understand that the local commanders' agreement is for three months only and can denounced by either side without notice. Does General Bennike consider that it would be useful for the agreement to form part of a more permanent system; in particular, that the Mixed. Armistice Commission should be consulted before its denunciation or non-renewal by either side?
The local commanders' agreement, signed on 8 June, was valid for three months. It was extended on 31 August 1953 for an additional three months. Paragraph 6 of the agreement reads: "This agreement is valid for three months from the day of signature and shall be subject to discussion by both parties one month before its expiry."
There is no provision in the agreement concerning denunciation. Acceptance of the suggestion to make the agreement part of a more permanent system would, in my opinion, be useful. In this connection I should like to point out that a previous agreement, signed on 13 May 1952, contained the following clause: "The provisions of this agreement will remain in force unless either party gives two weeks' notice to the other of its intention to abolish it."
A similar clause, to which might be added an undertaking to discuss a new agreement before or after giving notice of the intention to terminate the agreement in force, should be of value.
6. In his statement in paragraph 40 of the 630th meeting of the Security Council, General Bennike said that no detailed arrangements were made at two meetings of police officers held in July. What importance does he attach to improved contacts between the police on either side of the border?
I believe that improved contacts between the police on either side of the border would improve conditions along the border. Police officers know the local situation and can co-operate professionally with success.
The Jordan authorities have for several years advocated that the settlement of day-to-day incidents on the demarcation line should be decentralized to local police officers all along the border. They claim that whenever this system has been adopted in the past, in any given sector, incidents have been greatly reduced. It is, in their opinion, common experience on all frontiers that criminals redouble their activities when they see the two governments at loggerheads, but that when would criminals see the police forces of the two countries acting in close co-operation, they are constrained greatly to reduce their activities. Arguing that speed is the most essential element in the detection of crimes of
theft, the Jordan Government has advocated close liaison between police commanders all along the demarcation line this liaison to be assured by frequent meetings and by direct connection by telephone between police officers on either side. Details of a crime telephoned to the police on the other side would permit the sending out of patrols in time to catch criminals crossing the border. Police liaison would also permit taking over the tracks of criminals leading to the border on one side and continuing to follow them on the other.
I agree with the view that great importance should be attached to improved contacts between the police on either side of the border.
7. Would General Bennike explain exactly how the observer corps at his disposal works? Does he believe that there are enough observers? Have they adequate transport and com-munication? Are they based in Jerusalem or do they cover the whole frontier? Could the Chief of Staff say whether in his view the observer corps could be strengthened and, if so, how?
At the present time, I have nineteen military observers at my disposal. Four of them are serving as Chairmen of the Mixed Armistice Commissions. One observer works as my military assistant; another is in charge of the Mount Scopus demilitarized area. The others are assigned, according to the work load, to the armistice commissions. At the present time, two observers are assigned to the Israel-Lebanon Com-mission, four to the Egyptian-Israel Commission, six to the Israel-Syrian Commission, and five to the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom-Israel Commission. These figures include the chairmen.
We will take, for example, the workings of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, The five observers assigned to it are based in Jerusalem, which is the headquarters of the Commission. They have a border approximately 620 kilometers in length to cover. Each observer attends from' two to three local commanders' meetings per week, in addition to the investigation of complaints assigned him by the Chairman.
It is not, moreover, uncommon for military observers to be called into quick action to obtain a cease-fire. In this, they have been very effective on several occasions.
With 620 kilometers of demarcation lines between Israel and Jordan to cover, and the fact that 345 complaints have been handed in so far this year, many of which have been investi-gated, it is easy to see that the observers' task is not an easy one.
About one month after I assumed my duties as Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, I was invited by the Secretary-General to come to Headquarters in order to review the functioning of the Truce Supervision Organization, and in particular, to consider such recommendations as one month's experience in the field might have enabled me to make with a view to strengthening the effectiveness of the Truce Super-vision Organization. During that visit to Headquarters, which lasted from 9 to 28 August, I had very full consultations with the Secretary-General and with the members of the Missions Co-ordination Committee, consisting of senior officials of the Secretariat who have various responsibilities in connection with the work of United Nations missions in the field. These con-sultations were very fruitful and resulted in the acceptance of my recommendation that the number of observers be increased by seven and that additional observers be drawn from Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand. The Secretary-General has requested the Governments of New Zealand and Sweden to second two officers each and the Government of Denmark to second three officers for this assignment. My intention is to station four officers on the Israeli side of the Jordan-Israel demarcation line, and three officers on the Jordan side of the line. I believe that with this increase I shall have enough observers at my disposal, unless, of course, the situation should deteriorate, in which case I may request the, Secretary-General to provide more observers.
I also requested the Secretary-General to increase my civilian secretariat staff by the addition of a political affairs officer and a legal adviser; this has already been done. I have examined in detail the question of transport and communications, and I believe that I shall have sufficient equipment to meet the needs of the work.
. Questions put by the representative of France
1. Can General Bennike tell the Council, with a few details, how the various bodies subordinate to the Truce Supervision Organization, in particular the Mixed Armistice Commissions such as the Jordan-Israel Commission, are operating at present?
explain with a few details the actual happenings when a complaint is received by the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, I will relate as an example the Mixed Armistice Commission activities during the recent Qibya incident. On the night of 14-15 October, just after midnight, the Chairman of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission received a call from the Jordan delegate who alleged that a major attack was at that time being carried out against the village of Qibya by Israeli military forces. He asked for a cease-fire, an immediate investigation and an emergency Mixed Armistice Commission meeting to discuss the case. The chairman told the Jordan delegate he would act immediately on his requests for a cease-fire and an investigation, and asked him to make sure that his people did not return the fire. He then went to the Mixed Armistice Commission office in the Jerusalem no man's land, contacted the Israeli delegate, informed him of the Jordan complaint, and requested an immediate cease-fire and permission to send out an investigating team. The Israeli delegate agreed to the investigation and said that he would contact the area for information as to what was happening, and that he would ask for a cease-fire. The Jordan delegate was then told that Israel had agreed to an investigation, and arrangements were made to send out the investigating team. Two observers were called and told to go to the spot and carry out an investigation. The Jordan delegate called shortly after, stating that mortar fire was being directed at the village of Budrus in the same area. This information was forwarded to the Israel delegate, who later reported that he had learned that firing had been heard in that area, but that it had stopped. At about dawn, the Jordan delegate called to say that all firing had ceased. The investigating team had already departed for the area. An observer was then sent with a member of the Israeli delegation to stand by inside Israel territory in case the investigation had to be continued on the Israeli side of the demarcation line.
The chairman, who had withheld his decision to hold the emergency meeting requested by Jordan, then went to Qibya to gain first hand information. (According to an agreement reached during the 49th meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission on 14 February 1951, the chairman of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission has the sole right to decide on an emergency meeting; if lie decides to call an emergency meeting, he must call it within twenty-four hours of the submission of the complaint.)
On his return from Qibya, the chairman notified the parties' that an emergency meeting would be held that afternoon. At the meeting, the Jordan delegation presented its complaint, the report of the United Nations investigating team was read, questions were put to the United Nations observers and, after a discussion, the draft resolution moved by the Jordan delegation was adopted by majority vote.
When the chairman decides that a complaint does not call for an emergency meeting, the complaint is placed, in its chronological order, on the agenda of a regular meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission.
The rules of procedure of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission also provide for the possibility of referring to a subcommittee any claim or complaint relating to the application of the Armistice Agreement presented by either party. A sub-committee, made up of delegates from both sides and United Nations observers has met from time to time in an attempt to settle minor questions or to agree on the withdrawal or settlement of complaints. All decisions reached by the sub-committee must be unanimous and must be later ratified by the Mixed Armistice Commission during a formal Mixed Armistice Commission meeting.
2. Could General Bennike inform us whether in his opinion there is anything lacking in the operation of the various organs and whether be could make any suggestions with a view to improving their organization?
The operation of the Mixed Armistice Commissions, and in particular of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, would be improved if, instead of acting "as lawyers defending a case in court" this phras6 was recently used by General Riley in a report to the Security Council (S/3007, para. 12) delegates of the parties acted in conformity with the spirit and the letter of the Armistice Agreements. The Armistice Agreements provide that action by the Mixed Armistice Commissions on claims and complaints shall be taken "with a view to equitable and mutually satisfactory settlement". I have presided over emergency meetings of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission, soon after I took over from General Riley. Like him, I found out that one delegate acted as the prosecuting attorney, the other defense, and I had to sit as a judge, without the benefit of a jury.
Another unsatisfactory aspect of the procedure is that the voting is on a draft resolution presented by one side or the other. Although in some respects the chairman's position may be compared to that of a judge, he is at a disadvantage in that he cannot formulate the verdict. He can cast his vote only after both parties have cast theirs. It is, therefore, impossible for the chairman to submit a draft resolution of his own as this would be tantamount to announcing his vote in advance. This would open him to the accusation of partiality or of prejudging the issue. As the debate on the complaint continues right up to the moment of voting, the chairman is compelled to cast his vote on whatever text has been submitted by one side or the other. Consequently there is a very wide variation in the language of resolutions, particularly with respect to adjectives used to describe the breach of the Agreement. In this situation, the Chairman's sole concern must be to establish the facts and to determine whether a breach of the Armistice Agreement has in fact occurred.
It would have a generally moderating effect on public opinion if the parties agreed to vote solely on the question whether a breach of the Agreement has taken place, leaving it to the chairman to formulate the verdict in appropriate terms.
When presiding over emergency meetings I also felt-and this impression has been confirmed by experience that the Mixed Armistice Commission could be compared to a score-board, with the parties fighting to stack up decisions, one against the other, If the parties agreed to take action on claims and complaints "with a view to equitable and mutually satisfactory settlement", the operation of the Mixed Armistice Commissions would be greatly improved.
Failing such fundamental change, the following suggestions might assist in improving the operation of the Mixed Armistice Commissions. I shall refer in particular to the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission.
First, there is the question of congestion of work in the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission. Many cases, which are not dealt with in emergency meetings, accumulate on the list of items to be considered in future regular meetings. An incident is sometimes long past before it comes up for hearing. If such incident was not investigated immediately or soon after it took place, the decision to inquire into it when the Mixed Armistice Commission begins to consider it several weeks or months later leads in many cases to no results. On 31 August 1953, the Israel and Jordan delegations took a drastic decision in wiping out 338 cases from the Mixed Armistice Commission's agenda. Normally, however, the reference of as many cases as possible to a sub-committee or to meetings of local com-manders should greatly reduce congestion of work. Congestion of work would be limited to periods of tension, when practically every incident is either dealt with immediately in an emergency meeting or put on the list of questions to be dealt with later at regular meetings.
In the second place, there is the question of possible improvements in the investigation procedure. In the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission observers may not be sent on an investigation unless the commission so decides. (It may take decisions by a majority vote.) In practice, when the consent of both parties is obtained informally by telephone or otherwise, a formal meeting is not required. When the consent of both parties is not obtained informally, an investigation may be considerably delayed and its results rendered worthless. The rules of procedure of the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission are more liberal. An investigation takes place following an agreement of the parties or a request by one of them to the chairman or his representative on either side. If, at the request of either party, the chairman decides to hold an emergency meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission, be arranges for an investigation to be held within twenty-four hours of the submission of the claim or complaint. The investigation procedure in the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission would be improved if its rules of procedure were amended to include similar provisions.
In the third place, it might be useful for the parties to discuss matters from time to time on a higher level than the Mixed Armistice Commission. Such talks might, if desired, be carefully prepared. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization would lend such assistance as the parties might request.
3. Could the General tell us to what extent the parties are complying with the commission's decisions which have been notified to them?
The usual pattern for a decision of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission is as follows: first, the Mixed Armistice Commission decides that such and such an act by a party is a breach of such and such an article of the Armistice Agreement; second, the Mixed Armistice Commis-sion calls upon the same party to take measures to prevent the recurrence of such acts. In other cases, the Mixed Armistice Commission requests a party to take certain definite measures to remedy the situation resulting from a breach of the Armistice Agreement.
The usual pattern of Mixed Armistice Commission decisions to which I have referred makes it very difficult to say to what extent such and such a decision has been complied with. The Jordanian authorities have taken both preventive and punitive measures to comply with recommendations to curb infiltration. In paragraph 16 of his report to the Security Council, dated 30 October 1952 (S/2833), my predecessor referred to the following preventive measures:
"16. Jordan authorities have also reported the following measures in effect from I November 1951 to curb infiltration:
"(a) National guards and village authorities have been instructed to point out the location of the demarcation line to villagers, and to warn them of the danger they face in making illegal crossings; shepherds arc instructed to keep their flocks as far as practicable from the line, to prevent accidental crossing and consequent confiscation by Israeli authorities; guards are stationed along the demarcation line, and a list of people owning or cultivating lands along the line has been established.
"(b) In areas difficult to control (particularly along the Wadi Araba), Bedouin tribes have been ordered to move back from the demarcation line to areas deeper inside Jordan."
Since General Riley's report was written, the Jordan au-thorities have increased the number of guards along the demarcation line. As regards punitive measures, known infiltrators have been imprisoned or removed from the border villages and local authorities have been replaced where a laxness of control was suspected.
Israel, on its side, complied with the rules governing the return of infiltrators and furnished information concerning known infiltrators. Orders have been given and measures taken to stop military units on manoeuvres from firing across the line. The Israel authorities have also educated the Israeli inhabitants of the border area as to the actual position of the line on the ground.
Both parties have also, from time to time, issued orders to control the firing by border guards.
As regards compliance with decisions in which a party is requested to take such and such concrete measure, I regret that I have at my disposal too little time and too scanty information to answer the question with the necessary accuracy. On the whole, however, my general impression is that compliance with Mixed Armistice Commission decisions could be improved.
4. My delegation is anxious to know how the supervision of the truce is actually organized, how many observers are at General Bennike's disposal, what active measures these observers can themselves take, how soon after an incident has occurred these observers are able to intervene, and whether they always receive from the local authorities the assistance and cooperation to which they are entitled.
Answer. In accordance with the Security Council resolution of 11 August 1949 [S/1376, II], adopted after the conclusion of the several Armistice Agreements, the personnel of the Truce Supervision Organization performs two functions. The first is "observing and maintaining the cease-fire" ordered by the Security Council on 15 July 1948 (the order is reaffirmed in the resolution of 11 August 1949). The second function is 11 assisting the parties to the Armistice Agreements in the supervision of the application and observance of the terms of those Agreements". With regard to the observance and maintenance of the cease-fire, the' powers of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization are derived directly from the Security Council resolution, and United Nations observers acting under my instructions may take measures to observe and maintain the cease-fire. Should an incident involving a breach of the cease-fire occur, observers will be sent immediately to the spot the authorities of the respective parties will be contacted, and every effort made to bring an end to the incident.
With regard to functions under the Armistice Agreements, the Security Council resolution of 11 August 1949 makes a distinction, which is in conformity with the terms of the Armistice Agreements, between the Chief of Staff and the personnel of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization under his command. The Chief of Staff is ex officio chairman of the four Mixed Armistice Commissions which supervise the execution of the four Armistice Agreements. He may delegate his powers as chairman in each Mixed Armistice Com-mission to a senior officer from the observer personnel. Other officers from the observer personnel, while remaining under the command of the Chief of Staff, are attached to each Mixed Armistice Commission and employed by it. Their assignments are subject to approval by the Chief of Staff or his designated representative on the commission, whichever is serving as chairman. United Nations observers are employed by a Mixed Armistice Commission according to its rules and to its practice, which vary in the different commissions.
In my reply to the second question by the representative of France, I have already indicated the differences between the rules of procedure and practice of the Israel-Jordan and those of the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission. In the Israel-Lebanese Mixed Armistice Commission, formal meetings of the commission are provided for by the rules of procedure to order an investigation on the spot, but in practice, when an investigation is requested by a party, the other party has *always given its consent and a mixed investigation has been made. Since 1951, the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission has ceased to hold any formal meetings except emergency meetings, as indicated in General Riley's report to the Security Council dated 30 October 1952 [S/2833,para. 45].
At the present time, as stated in my answer to a previous question, I have nineteen military observers at my disposal. The active measures which they may take and how soon after the occurrence of an incident they are able to intervene depend on whether they are acting with respect to the cease-fire or to the Armistice Agreements, and if the latter, on the particular rules and practice of the commission concerned.
For the most part, the cooperation and assistance received from the local authorities has been satisfactory.
5. The statistics which General Bennike has provided in his report cover only the period from 1 January to 15 October 1953. I think it would certainly be in the Council's interest to have in a shorter and less detailed form statistics relating to the truce violations which have occurred during the preceding years to which we must more or less closely relate the events which have been described to us. In particular, could General Bennike tell us the number of truce violations which have been reported to the commission since it started to function, the number of such cases on which it has been able to pass a verdict, and also the number in which Israel or one of its neighboring countries was found to have committed the
Answer. The answer is to be found in appendix I of this report.
III. Questions put by the representative of the United States of America
1. Could General Bennike describe more fully the operation procedures which are followed under the local commanders' agreement?
There are eleven regularly scheduled local com-manders' meetings held at fixed points along the Israel-Jordan demarcation line each week. Unless the United Nations observer in charge of an area is out on an investigation or attending meetings of the Mixed Armistice Commission, he attends the local commanders' meeting for that area. At these meetings infiltrators are handed back, stolen property is returned, information concerning known infiltrators is exchanged, area incidents are discussed and complaints are lodged. I do not mean to imply that all infiltrators are handed back this way or that all stolen property is returned, but I am confident that a continuation of these meetings, with the parties paying particular attention to the calibre of man appointed as a local commander, will result in better co-operation, less tension and fewer incidents along the border.
2. Can General Bennike supply information indicating the extent of the material damage Israel has suffered from infiltration?
The Truce Supervision Organization is not in a position to compile or check statistics of material damage resulting from infiltration. The Israel Government compiles and, from time to time, publishes statistics on the question.
3. Does the Truce Supervision Organization have informa-tion as to the extent of the organization of infiltration?
Apart from statements made by the parties, the Truce Supervision Organization has no information on the subject.
4. What material damage was there to the village and its inhabitants as a result of the Qibya incident?
The Truce Supervision Organization has never been required to make an estimate of the material damage resulting from incidents on the Israel-Jordan demarcation line.
IV. Question put by the representative of Greece
Would General Bennike find it advisable to strengthen the observer corps in such a way as to permit it to play a preventive role? In other words, I wonder whether the presence of observers at certain psychologically dangerous points along the frontier might not prevent possible frontier incidents.
cannot reply in a definitive form to this question, although the experience of the Truce Supervision Organization in its early years, in 1948 and 1949, as well as the experience of the United Nations Military Observer Group in Kashmir, would tend to support the view that the presence of observers at certain points along the cease-fire line is helpful in preventing possible incidents. As I have indicated, it is my intention to station a small number of observers along both sides of the Israel-Jordan demarcation line. Naturally, the extent to which they can be of assistance in preventing frontier incidents would depend on the increased effectiveness of the local commanders' meetings and the cooperation which is extended to them by the authorities on both sides of the line. It is my hope that deploying observers as I have indicated may serve to assist the parties in preventing incidents.
V. Questions put by the representative of Lebanon
1. Has the life of General Bennike or any of his collaborators been threatened?
Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, I am adhering strictly to the position that the personnel of the organization and are in Palestine by virtue of resolutions of the Security Council, and that we must rely upon the governments of the countries in which we carry out our func-tions to take the necessary measures to safeguard the lives of the agents of the United Nations. I am satisfied that the governments concerned are aware of their responsibilities in this respect. About a month ago, the Israeli authorities felt that in discharge of this responsibility, they must insist on my being accompanied by a police escort in Israel territory. Shortly afterwards, the Jordan authorities requested my per-mission to patrol the grounds of my house at night, because of its location a short distance away from the demarcation line. I have not the means to evaluate the factual data, if any, which may have prompted the two Governments to take these precautions; that is a matter for the appropriate authorities of each State. In both cases, therefore, I gave my concurrence, and I shall always be glad to cooperate with the authorities of any of the parties in the discharge of their responsibilities for the safety of United Nations personnel, provided that any measures they take do not interfere with my freedom of movement or that of the observers. I may add that in the course of underground work in Denmark during the war I was sometimes in danger. I am, therefore, not inclined to be influenced, either by rumors of threats from whatever source they may come, or by any precautionary measures which the governments concerned may find it necessary, in their own interest, to take.
2. Have General Bennike and his organization been prevented from performing their functions? If so, when, how and by whom?
In the course of their duties, United Nations military observers have met with some obstruction on the part of Israeli civilians and some over zealous Israeli officials in the two demilitarized zones created by the Israel-Egyptian and Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreements and in the Mount Scopus demilitarized zone. In the first two demilitarized zones, an appeal to higher authorities has removed the obstruction. The situation, however, has not been improved on Mount Scopus, which I attempted to inspect on 25 September 1953, in discharge of the responsibility for the security of this area placed upon the United Nations by the agreement dated 7 July 1948 (S/3015, annex).
On 23 September, two days prior to the intended inspection, a letter was sent to the general staff officer in charge of the Israeli delegations to the Mixed Armistice Commissions and to the officer in charge of the Jordan delegation, informing them of my intentions.
At approximately 6.30 a.m., I arrived at the area with several United Nations observers. The senior Israeli police inspector in charge informed me that he had received specific orders not to allow anyone to enter the buildings in the Jewish sector. I inquired as to who had issued this order and was told 'that his superiors in Jerusalem were responsible. He refused to divulge the name of the superior who had issued the order. At about 11.20 a.m., after many difficulties and after an Israeli police inspector had been brought to the spot from the Israeli section of Jerusalem, we were allowed to start the inspection, but the observers met with minimum co-operation. Keys to locked doors could not be found, and the operation of mine detectors was not allowed. At approximately 12.40, the Israeli police inspector announced that he had received orders to stop the inspection. I then withdrew from the area.
Subsequently, I received a letter dated 26 September from the general staff officer in charge of the Israeli delegations to the Mixed Armistice Commissions, explaining that he had received my letter of 23, September only after the time set for the inspection, and objecting to searches by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Jewish sector of Mount Scopus demilitarized area. Before the receipt of this com-munication, I had addressed a letter, on 27 September, to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, drawing his attention to the difficulties I had, encountered in connection with the inspection of Mount Scopus and to the responsibility of the chief of staff for the security of the area. I stated that such responsibility implied the right of United Nations representatives, when the chief of staff so decides, to inspect the area as he thinks fit. I added that I did not consider that statements made by police officers stationed on Mount Scopus expressed the opinion of the Israel Government on the matter, and I requested his Government's views as early as possible. To this date I have not received a reply.
On the night of I November 1953, a water line in Jordan- controlled territory north-east of Jerusalem was destroyed by explosives. Jordan entered a complaint and an investigating team was sent to the scene on the morning of 2 November. A United Nations observer, three Jordanian officers and an experienced tracker followed tracks from the scene of the incident to within seven meters of the fence around the Jewish sector of Mount Scopus. Here the investigating party was stopped by an Israeli police inspector. Even though the United Nations observer was satisfied that the tracks he saw at the point near the Scopus fence were the same as those seen at the site of the explosion, the Israeli inspector refused to let the tracker or the United Nations observer come nearer the fence. The United Nations observer, who is my representative for Mount Scopus, was at that time with the Israeli inspector inside the Mount Scopus area and was not allowed to continue the investigation inside the area.
On the morning of 2 November, my representative for Mount Scopus wanted to investigate another explosion alleged to have taken place a few hours earlier in the Jewish sector of the demilitarized zone, in the vicinity of the ampbitheatre. The Israeli inspector stated that his instructions were to prohibit United Nations personnel from inspecting the Jewish sector unless they had permission from Israeli police head-quarters in Jerusalem. My representative was, however, allowed to visit the ground near the amphitheatre. On returning the same afternoon, he was told by the Israeli inspector that, according to instructions just received, he could not be per-mitted to inspect anywhere without permission from police headquarters. On 3 November, however, the general staff officer in charge of the Israeli delegations to the Mixed Armi-stice Commissions informed the headquarters of the Truce Supervision Organization in Jerusalem that the police inspector on Mount Scopus would be immediately instructed to permit my representative freedom of movement.
I must emphasize that the government concerned should take all necessary steps t6 ensure that all its officials who come in contact with United Nations military observers are properly instructed as to the privileges, immunities and authority of the observers in carrying out their functions. Should any Government in the area place any obstacles in the way of military observers carrying out their lawful duties, or should a govern-ment endorse any obstructive action by a subordinate official, I shall feel bound to place the matter before the Security Council.
3. How many Arabs have been expelled from Israel since 1948 ?
(a) According to the complaints handed in to the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission since June 1949, Jordan has alleged that 5,415 persons plus two families (the number of persons involved was not mentioned in this complaint) have been expelled from Israel. In most of these cases Israel has claimed that the persons expelled did not hold Israeli identification cards and had been living in Israel illegally. Some such cases have been settled by resolutions, such as the follow:
"The following complaints are struck off with the proviso that Israel will endeavour to give prior notice of transfer of persons across the frontier,
proper channels, wherever possible."
"The Jordan delegation agreed to withdraw complaint #64 and the Israeli delegation stated that it was prepared to consider the application for the return of this family favorably, if it was found that it had been expelled illegally,"
I have no figures showing the number of persons who have been returned to Israel.
(b) The records of the Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission show that twenty-six Arabs have been expelled from Israel to Lebanon. (c) On 15 October 1953, the Security Council was informed by the permanent representative of Syria of the recent expulsion of eleven Arab inhabitants of the village of Rihaniya in the Safad district (S/3107). The number of Arabs expelled from the demilitarized zone created by the Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreement is indicated in my answer to question 4 from the representative of Lebanon. (d) Two decisions taken by the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission on 30 May 1951 deal with the expulsion of Arabs. The first refers to the expulsion by the Israeli authorities of about 2,000 Arabs from El Majdal to the Egyptian controlled Gaza Strip. The second deals with the expulsion of 6,000 to 7,000 Bedouins of the Azazme tribe from the area under Israel control and from the El Auja demili-tarized zone into Egyptian territory. The Israel Government has appealed against the two decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commission to the Special Committee provided for under article X, paragraph 4, of the Israel-Egyptian General Armistice Agreement3. The appeals are still pending before the Special Committee.
4. With reference to the third question above, how many Arabs in particular have been expelled by Israel from their homes in the demilitarized zone?
With regard to the demilitarized zone created by the Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreement, about 785 Arabs were on the night of 30-31 March 1951 removed from their homes in the Baqqara-Ghanname-Khoury Farm area, in the central sector of the Zone. They were transferred to Sha'ab in Israel-controlled territory. Following interviews of 117 heads of families at Sha'ab by the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission on 2 and 3 July 1951, 212 Arabs, belonging to families whose heads had expressed by signature their desire to return to their homes, were sent back to the demilitarized zone on 5 July; 142 other Arabs were returned on 5 and 9 July, without having been questioned by the chairman. Of the approximately 409 Arabs who remained in Slia'ab, after expressing the desire not to return to the demilitarized zone, 70 were, at their own request and by agreement between the parties, permitted to enter Syria on 22 January 1952. My predecessor has further reported to the Security Council on 30 October 1952 (S/2833, para. 50) that approximately 35 of the other Arabs transferred to Sha'ab had fled to Syria. About 300 inhabitants of another Arab village, Es Samra, in the southern sector of the demilitarized zone, fled from that village during the incidents of March-April 1951. They have taken refuge in the vicinity of Kahn and El Hamma, in the southern sector of the demilitarized zone.
With regard to the El Auja demilitarized zone created by the Israel-Egyptian Armistice Agreement, I have referred,in my answer to the preceding question, to the decision taken by the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission, and appealed against by Israel, concerning the 6,000 to 7,000 Bedouins of the Azazme tribe, which, according to the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission, were expelled either from Israel-controlled territory or from the demilitarized zone. United Nations observers in the demilitarized zone have also reported that about. 200 to 250 Bedouins from the Terabeen tribe were expelled from the demilitarized zone during the past few months.
5. With reference to Mr. Lodge's second question on 29 October, as to the material damage suffered by Israel as a result of infiltration, what is the extent of material damage suffered by the Arabs in all regions as a result of Israeli action?
must give the same answer to this question as that given to the question of the representative of the United States. I am not in possession of information which would enable me to state the extent of material damage suffered, as neither the Mixed Armistice Commissions nor the Truce Supervision Organization are required to measure or assess damage.
6. Does the General have any evidence sup porting the contention that Arab infiltrators are directed by the official authorities of Jordan or by organizations known to these official authorities?
have no such evidence, nor is the contention to
question refers supported by any decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission other than the following:
The Commission, at an emergency meeting (99th meeting) held on 26 and 27 November and 8 December 1952, which the Jordanian representatives did riot attend, voted on the following resolution submitted by Israel, as follows:
"I. The Mixed Armistice Commission is alarmed by,the planned sending of armed criminals from Jordan to Israel by an officer of the Arab Legion. It is an hostile act bearing the character of subversive warfare which constitutes a breach of the General Armistice Agreement, article III, para. 3."
Two votes for (Israeli delegation)
Chairman -no vote.
'T. The crossing of the demarcation line by an armed gang of Jordanians controlled by a Jordanian Army officer who attacked Israel security forces, constitutes a breach of the General Armistice Agreement, article III, para. 2."
Two votes for (Israeli delegation)
Chairman no vote.
"3. The Mixed Armistice Commission emphasizes the gravity of the situation to which such activities lead and calls on Jordan to stop them immediately.
Two votes for (Israeli delegation)
Chairman no vote.
"4. The Mixed Armistice Commission considers the failure of the Jordanian delegation to attend three consecutive emergency meetings as a lack of respect to the Mixed Armistice Commission and condemns it as an improper attempt to avoid decisions."
Two votes for (Israeli delegation) One vote against (Chairman).
7. Does the General consider that private citizens of Israel armed by the government constitute military or paramilitary forces? If the answer is in the affirmative, would the General consider the Government of Israel responsible for the actions of these armed citizens?
It is difficult to answer any questions of this kind in the abstract. Such questions have to be answered in concrete cases by the Mixed Armistice Commissions every time a party alleges that responsibility for such and such an action rests not with an "armed group" of indefinite organization and composition, but with an element of the military or para military forces of the
other party. A government which arms private citizens should ensure sufficient control against the misuse of the arms supplied.
8. In paragraph 59 of his report, General Bennike says: "To sum up, the present situation on the Israel-Jordan Demarcation Line is due to a large extent to the problem of infiltration." To what extent is infiltration due to Arabs having to cross the demarcation line to tend their orchards and lands which, as General Bennike goes on to say in the same para-graph, they were "haphazardly ... separated ... from" by the long demarcation line?
One of the causes of civilian crossing of the demarcation line is for illegal cultivation. My predecessor, in his report to the Security Council of 30 October 1952 (S/2833, para. 17), pointed out that "another cause of frequent incidents along the demarcation line is the cultivation of land by residents of one party in the territory controlled by the other or in no man's land". In my report to the Security Council on 27 October 1953, 1 noted that the Mixed Armistice Commission had found that the origin of the Dawayima incident (25-27 May 1953) had been the illegal cultivation by Jordanians of land in Israel territory (630th meeting, para. 15). Almost all cases of illegal cultivation with which the Mixed Armistice Commission has had to deal are cases of cultivation on by Arabs of lands which have been separated from Arab villages by the Armistice demarcation line.
9. At no point in his report does General Bennike refer to the Jordanian armed forces as having violated the General Armistice Agreement by crossing or firing across the de-marcation line, whereas at eleven points he asserts that Israeli armed forces crossed or fired across the demarcation line (in one instance, the demilitarized zone) in violation of the General Armistice Agreements. (These eleven places are listed in annex V.) Would General Bennike care to go more deeply and more critically into this qualitative difference between the acts of violation of the General Armistice Agreements attributable to Jordan or Jordanians and the acts of violation attributable to Israel or Israelis?
During the period 1 January through 15 October 1953, action by Jordan forces resulted in Jordan being condemned for three violations of the General Armistice Agreement. The text of the resolutions, condemning Jordan, can be found in appendix 11 of this report. Other resolutions condemning Jordan, adopted during this period, refer to actions by armed groups or armed Jordanians.
During the same period, 1 January through 15 October 1953, action by Israeli forces resulted in Israel being condemned for sixteen violations of the General Armistice Agreement.
10. In several places General Bennike speaks of "retaliation", "retaliatory action", "cycle of reprisals", "reprisal raids", "chain reaction of retaliatory measures", etc. If we compare the list of reprisals or retaliatory actions committed by Arabs with the list of reprisals or retaliatory actions committed by Israelis, would General Bennike care to comment on whether there is a qualitative difference between them, namely, a difference as to their scope, intensity, method used and the relative casualties caused or the comparative extent of the damage inflicted?
The answer to the part of this question referring to casualties will be found in appendix I to this report. Neither the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission nor the Truce Supervision Organization have been required to assess damage.
11. From his analysis of the Qibya incident and the knowledge of the Truce Supervision Organization of the border incidents during the last five years, can General Bennike con-clude with good reason that the Qibya incident stands in a class by itself so far as its scope, its plan of execution and the acts of violence committed during it are concerned?
The Qibya incident is similar to the Falameh-Rantis incident (28-29 January 1953) and the Wadi Fukin, Surif and Idna incidents (11 August 1953). However, because of the .Umber of persons killed, and because of the number of men, the amount of military equipment, and the degree of organization involved, it stands out from other border incidents.
12. In paragraph 37 (see also para. 43), General Bennike says, "Jerusalem, when tension increases between Israel and Jordan, is a dangerous powder keg. I have been told in particular by the Israeli authorities that criminal activities by infiltrators in the Israel part of Jerusalem would create a very grave situation". Would the General care to go more deeply into this matter, and in particular, would he elucidate what is intended by the phrase "a very grave situation"?
To elucidate the phrase "a very grave situation", I shall refer to the preceding sentence in which I have described Jerusalem as a "dangerous powder keg, when tension increases between Israel and Jordan". During a conversation with mem-bers of the Israeli general staff, I was told that Jerusalem was the capital city of the State of Israel, in which the Knesset and the government offices are located, and that security in Jerusalem was accordingly of the greatest importance.
13. What detailed recommendations would General Bennike make for strengthening the United Nations machinery which will guarantee the observance of the General Armistice Agreements?
I have endeavored to reply to this question in my answer to question 2 from the representative of France.
14. In paragraph 58 of his report, General Bennike speaks of "Israel opposition to the fulfillment by the Chairman and United Nations observers of their responsibility for ensuring the implementation of article V of the General Armistice Agreement". This opposition is further hinted at in paragraph 66. Since this is not an unimportant matter, especially in view of the text of the present item with which the Security Council is seized, a detailed report on this question seems necessary. Would General Bennike supply the Council with such a report?
In paragraph 6 of his report to the Security Council, dated 6 November 1951 (S/2389), my predecessor wrote as follows: "6. During the conversation held at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 6 September, it was reaffirmed to me that the policy of the Government of Israel was to allow full freedom of movement to the United Nations observers in the demilitarized zone, and that nothing would be done by anybody to obstruct the observers or hamper them in the execution of their duty. I, for my part, agreed that normal identity checking at the entrance to the demilitarized zone did not constitute a curtailment of the freedom of movement of the United Nations observers in the zone."
The assurance thus given to my predecessor has not always been fully observed. One year later, in his report to the Security Council of 30 October 1952 (S/2833), Lt. General Riley described the situation as it then existed in the demilitarized zone. For example, he stat6d in paragraph 58 of his report:
"With the exception of Nuqeib, El Hamma and Shamalne, Israel police, acting under orders from police headquarters outside the demilitarized zone, exercise control over practically the entire demilitarized zone. The Chairman has maintained that the provisions of article V of the General Armistice Agreement and the explanatory note of Dr. Bunche quoted in the
Security Council resolution of 18 May 1951 call for police of a local character within the demilitarized zone. Israel authorities, however, have not agreed to remove their non local police from the demilitarized zone and no arrangement has been worked out ..."
There has been no change in the situation as described by my predecessor.
15. In paragraph 61 of his report, General Bennike says: "If military forces carry out punitive raids across the demarcation line, the Armistice Agreement must be considered as having been deliberately broken in full knowledge of possible consequences, including the possibility of a clash with the military forces of the other party. The dangers implied in such a resort to force should persuade the responsible authorities to abstain from it and adhere closely to peaceful means." This is a statement of the utmost importance. Would the General care to expound his thoughts further and to recommend what must be done in the circumstances to prevent this "deliberate breaking" of the Armistice Agreement?
I can only repeat what I have said in my report of 27 October (630th meeting, paras. 60 and 61). Two methods are possible: co-operation or resort to force. The dangers of the latter should be clear to everyone. The parties must honor their undertaking to observe the cease-fire ordered by the Security Council and not take matters into their own hands in violation of the Armistice Agreements.
16. In paragraph 62 of his report General Bennike says that the following ruling by Dr. Bunche, the Acting Mediator, is authoritative and was accepted by both parties in 1949: "In the nature of the case, therefore, under the provisions of the Armistice Agreement, neither party could validly claim to have a free hand in the demilitarized zone over civilian activity, while military activity was totally excluded." In view of the fact that the present item with which the Security Council is seized deals with "compliance with and enforcement of the General Armistice Agreements", would General Bennike care to explain who went back on this authoritative ruling which was accepted by both parties in 1949, and why?
I should like to clarify the status of the paragraph from the statement by Dr. Ralph Bunche quoted in this question. The authoritative comment of the Acting Mediator which was accepted by both parties in 1949, and to which I referred in my report is as follows:
"The question of civil administration in villages and settlements in the demilitarized zone is provided for, within the framework of an Armistice Agreement, in sub-paragraphs 5 (b) and 5 (f) of the draft article. Such civil administration, including policing, Will be on a local basis, without raising general questions of administration, jurisdiction, citizenship, and sovereignty.
"Where Israel civilians return to or remain in an Israel village or settlement, the civil administration and policing of the village or settlement will be by Israelis., Similarly, where Arab civilians return to or remain in an Arab village, a local Arab administration and police unit will be authorized.
"As civilian life is gradually restored, administration will take shape on a local basis under the general supervision of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission.
"The Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, in consultation and co-operation with the local communities, will be in a position to authorize all necessary arrangements for the restoration and protection of civilian life. He will not assume responsibility for direct administration of the zone."
The Security Council, in its resolution of 18 May 1951
the parties to give effect to the above statement.
The paragraph to which the question of the representative of Lebanon refers was part of a later statement of Dr. Bunche, which was addressed to my predecessor, Lt. General Riley, in April 1951 as his personal view of the general purpose and nature of the demilitarized zone. This statement was incor-porated by General Riley in his report to the Security Council on 25 April 1951 (542nd meeting), and I have quoted one of its paragraphs as enunciating a principle to which I believe the parties should adhere totally. My predecessor's reports show that such total adhesion has not been forthcoming on the Israeli side. Israeli officials and citizens have repeatedly shown their impatience with limitations to their activities in an area which they consider as under Israel sovereignty.
17. With respect to appendix I of the General's report, would the General supply details of the nature and extent of damage of each of the 20 violations of the General Armistice Agreement for which Jordan was condemned, and each of the 21 violations of the General Armistice Agreement for which Israel was condemned?
As I have stated earlier, I am unable to give the details of the damage in these cases, since I am not in posses-sion of the necessary information. Neither the Mixed Armistice Commission nor the Truce Supervision Organization has measured or assessed the damage involved.
18. With respect to appendix II of General Bennike's report, would the General complete the tabulation in part two of this appendix to read like part two of appendix I, so as to obtain the same sort of information for the period June 1949 through December 1952 that was tabulated in appendix I for the period I January to 15 October 1953, namely, the verification by the Mixed Armistice Commission of the relative casualties alleged by Jordan and by Israel?
The information requested will be found in appendix I of this report.
19. Could the General supply a detailed tabulation of all the violations for which Jordan and Israel were condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission since the onset of the Armistice, including in each case the nature of the violation and the extent of the damage inflicted?
The part of appendix I which outlines the articles and paragraphs of the General Armistice Agreement that have been violated will give some indication as to the nature of the violation. The Mixed Armistice Commission has made no attempt to estimate the extent of the damage inflicted.
VI. Questions put by the representative of Israel
1. My first question relates to appendix III, sub-paragraph 3 of the report
In listing complaints in the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, the report states:
"And in addition, 191 complaints against Jordan were settled without discussion by a resolution that included the following:
"'The crossing of the line by civilians is inconsistent with article IV, paragraph 3, of the General Armistice Agreement."'
The paragraph which I have quoted sounds as if the resolution gave no indication of whether the 191 complaints against Jordan were valid or not. I therefore ask whether the Chief of Staff can confirm that the aforesaid resolution included some acknowledgment by Jordan of the validity of Israel's complaints, by saying in its principal clause:
"The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan delegation regrets the crossing of the demarcation line by civilians as reported in the above complaints. It reaffirms that it is taking all possible measures
prevent such illegal crossings of the line in the future, as they are against the interests of both parties and inconsistent with article IV, paragraph 3 of the General Armistice Agreement."
Are my records correct in showing that this is part of the same resolution referred to in appendix III of the report?
The Israeli representative's records are correct. Similar clauses appear also in some of the other resolutions covering the complaints referred to.
2. The report under discussion by the Security Council refers to the period since the beginning of the year, which I would understand to be from 1 January 1953. However, the first incident mentioned is that of Falameh~Rantis on 28-29 January. I wonder whether we could have information on the border incidents which took place in the early weeks of January, prior to the Falameh-Rantis incident, and which resulted in what the report describes as three weeks of rapidly developing tension. My question relates to information on border incidents between 1 January and 28 January 1953.
During the period between 1 January and 28 January 1953, ten complaints were submitted by Jordan and six com-plaints by Israel. In May 1953, Israel submitted eight more complaints, concerning infiltration that had allegedly taken place during January. I have listed all the complaints in a separate memorandum which I shall transmit to the President of the Council with the request it be added to the record of my answers as appendix IV. I would draw attention to the incident listed as number 7 under Jordan's complaints in this annex appendix, namely the complaint by Jordan that, on 4 January, three Israeli soldiers and one civilian driving instructor were found by a Jordan patrol in the Latrun area. This case resulted in the cancellation by Israel on 8 January of the agreement to reduce and solve incidents. The previous agreement on measures to curb infiltration, which thereupon automatically went into effect, was also terminated by Israel. The cancellation of both these agreements added to the rapidly developing tension.
I may add that tension cannot be gauged by the number of incidents alone. An even more important factor is the weight given to the incidents by official spokesmen of the governments of the parties and by the Press.
3. My third question refers to paragraph 42 of the report in which it is stated that the attack on the Israel village of Yahud on 12-13 October which caused the death of two small children and their mother may have provoked the attack on Qibya. It is my understanding that the Mixed Armistice Com-mission, in condemning Jordan for the attack, defined that situation as "intolerable aggression". I wonder whether, in order to clear up this point, we could simply have transmitted to us the full text of the resolution on Yahud?
Following is the full text of the resolution adopted by the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission concerning the Yahud incident:
"The deep armed Jordanian penetration into Israel to perpetrate the brutal attack on a house in Yahud village in the night of 12-13 October 1953, which resulted in the murder of two small children and their mother is a violation of article III, paragraph 2, of the General Armistice Agreement."
"The Mixed Armistice Commission considers it of vital importance that the Jordanian authorities should take immediately the 'Most vigorous measures to prevent the recurrence of such intolerable aggression." Both parts of the resolution were adopted by the Commission by three votes in favor, none opposed, and two abstentions (Jordan delegation).
In reply to the second question by the representative of France, I have drawn attention to the fact that under procedures followed in the Mixed Armistice Commissions, the wording of the resolution is beyond the control of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission. It has been suggested that the yahud incident may have provoked the retaliatory action against the village of Qibya. The wording of this resolution, submitted by Israel, confirms my feeling that it would be desirable if the parties agreed to vote solely on the question whether a breach of the Agreement had taken place, leaving it to the chairman to formulate the verdict in appropriate terms.
4. My fourth question refers to the report by Commander Hutchison on the Qibya incident, quoted in the report of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization. In that memorandum the conclusion is drawn that, because certain types of weapons were employed by the attackers, the attacks therefore must have been carried out by Israel defense forces. I would appreciate it if we could be told whether the United Nations observers have examined the defense system of Israel border villages and have concluded that the weapons with which these settlements are armed to repel attacks from across the border are of a type and make different from those employed by the Israel defense forces.
United Nations observers, who have visited many border villages, have never reported seeing weapons other than machine guns, grenades, rifles, automatic weapons such as Bren-gun, Sten-gun and Thompson sub-machine guns, and side arms.
The records of the complaints and investigations of the Mixed Armistice Commissions since 1949 contain no evidence to show that border villages were ever furnished with bangalore torpedoes, 2-inch and 81 mm. mortars and demolition charges. Nor does the history of incidents show the necessity of border villages being furnished with this type of weapons. The records of the Mixed Armistice Commission show that attacks against villages and persons in Israel take the pattern of raids carried out by small armed groups using hit-and-run tactics. For defense against this type of action, I can see the usefulness of machine guns, small automatic weapons and even hand grenades, but certainly not of mortars, bangalore torpedoes and demolition charges. 5. 1 have a question of fact relating to paragraph 48, where General Bermike states that Israel airplanes attacked Arabs and their herds of camels and goats. I believe the reference is to the south of the country. Neither I nor any of my colleagues have heard anything of this. Therefore, could we please have the full text of the Mixed Armistice Commission's resolution on this matter?
The statement referred to in this question was based on reports of investigations carried out by United Nations observers. The incidents occurred in particular in the area of the demilitarized zone created by the Israel-Egyptian Armistice Agreement. Under the Armistice Agreement the United Nations observers have greater authority in the demilitarized zone than they have elsewhere, and I attach special importance to the reports of observers concerning incidents in the area of the zone. My statement was intended to illustrate the general situation leading up to the events in the demilitarized zone referred to in the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission of 2 October 1~53, which I quoted
(630th meeting, para. 50). The following is a summary of reports of investi-gations by United Nations observers in July and August 1953.
On 6 July, Israeli planes were reported as having attacked Bedouins near Dir el Malaqui, a well in the demilitarized zone. Two persons and several animals were reported killed. When the incident was investigated by a United Nations observer, the casualties were reported to have been buried. On 19 July, two Israeli planes were reported to have attacked Bedouins inside the Egyptian border (MR. 078-0760). Two children were reported injured and many camels killed. This incident was investigated by a United Nations observer, who saw forty-five dead camels and two wounded camels. On 30 July, another attack by Israeli planes was reported within the demilitarized zone. One man was reported killed
The United Nations observer who investigated the report saw blood stains in the sand with a line of bullet holes running through it. The body was reported to have been buried according to Moslem custom. On 2 and 3 August, attacks by Israeli planes on Bedouins were again reported by an Egyptian guard at El Auja and confirmed, by eye-witness accounts, by the Bedouins. On 8 August, two planes were reported to have attacked herds inside Egyptian territory in the same area as the attack on 19 July. This incident was investigated and a wounded girl questioned. In a letter dated 21 September, addressed to the Chairman of the Egyptian-Israeli Mixed Armistice Commission, the senior Israeli delegate stated,
"3) The demilitarized zone being an integral part of Israel, the term 'Palestinian Bedouin' does not exist. Every Arab including Bedouins in the demilitarized zone without an Israeli identity card is an infiltrator.
"4) Any Israeli activity in the demilitarized zone (beside the penetration of military forces) is an internal Israeli affair and of no concern to anybody, including Egypt."
6. 1 refer again to the Israel-Egyptian armistice situation, in which connection the Chief of Staff in his report quotes a resolution adopted by the Israeli-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission on 2 October 1953, regarding alleged military activities in the demilitarized zone of El Auja. In accordance with article X of the Israeli-Egyptian Armistice Agreement, I understand that a decision of the commission is not final, if it is appealed, until the Special Committee has taken a decision on the appeal. Am I right in stating that there is an appeal which was submitted on 2 October, and would it be correct to deduce that this resolution is therefore still sub
and that a meeting of the Special Committee will be convened as requested by Israel in order to examine this appeal?
I have mentioned in my report (630th meeting, para. 51) that the Israeli representative has submitted an appeal against the resolution of the Mixed Armistice Commission, requesting that the case be brought before the Special Committee, in accordance with article X, paragraph 4, of the General Armistice Agreement. This paragraph reads,
"On questions of principle, appeal shall lie to a Special Committee, composed of the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization and one member each of the Egyptian and Israeli delegations to the armistice conference at Rhodes or some other senior officer, whose decisions on all such questions shall be final."
In view of Israel's appeal to the Special Committee, the decision of the Israeli-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission of 2 October 1953 is not final. The situation with regard to the convening of the Special Committee has not changed since my predecessor -wrote in his report to the Security Council dated 4 November 1952 (S/2833, para. 10): "Repeated efforts have been made to convene a meeting of the Special Committee to consider these appeals [seven by Egypt and three by Israel] which are from decisions taken by the Mixed Armistice Com-mission between May and October 1951, but no date has been found mutually acceptable to the parties".
I intend, when I return to the middle East, to approach the parties with a view to convening the Special Committee.
7. Paragraph 34 of the report points out that the talks between high-ranking military commanders proposed by Israel at the end of January did not take place. Can we be informed
these high-level talks did not take place?
They did not take place because the Jordan Government's position was that civilian infiltration was a police matter, and that a meeting of the civilian authorities of both sides, assisted by senior police officers, might be more conducive to the achievement of the end sought. In Israel, however, the responsibility for border security rests with the Defense Forces. The Government of Israel, which had therefore suggested a meeting between military commanders of high rank, regretted Jordan's decision. It accepted, however, to take part in a meeting in which Jordan was represented by the chief Jordan delegate to the Mixed Armistice Commission (a civilian) and Israel by the general staff officer in charge of Israel delegations to the Mixed Armistice Commissions (an army officer). As I have stated in paragraph 34 of my report, these talks led to no result. I have also reported that the idea of high-level talks between senior military commanders was revived in June and that a meeting was held on 29 June (para. 39).
8. In paragraph 39, there is a description of the differences between the responsibilities of the Israel Government and the Jordan Government in respect of infiltration. The report states:
"Jordan is taking measures against infiltration and will continue to do so. Israel will co-operate by supplying information to Jordan on infiltration."
Have the measures which the Jordan Government maintains it has taken resulted in fact in any reduction in the number of infiltration cases or in their grave nature?
The quotation in this question is taken from the summing up of the results of the meeting between senior military commanders held on 29 June 1953. The third sentence in the summing up reads as follows: "Israel will seek to improve methods of transmitting such information quickly, so that Jordan can make effective use of it." I described the results of this meeting as successful, because each party recognized the special problems which faced the other and because each party undertook certain obligations. It was a good beginning and I regret that it was not followed tip by detailed arrangements between the high-ranking police officers in the two meetings they held in July. As I stated in my report, existing arrangements for implementing the local commanders' agreement remained unaltered. I believe, however, that the procedure of local commanders' meetings, which should not be confused with the high level talks between senior military commanders, would be greatly strengthened by the resumption of such high level talks and the conclusion of the detailed arrangements which were envisaged in the meeting of 29 June.
As regards the effectiveness of the measures which the Jordan Government is taking, it is impossible to give a definite answer, there being no fixed criterion to calculate the effective-ness of the measures as such, in isolation from other factors. There has been, generally, a decrease in the number of complaints regarding infiltration submitted to the Mixed Armistice Commission by Israel. During the first nine months of 1952, Israel submitted 233 complaints. During the same period in 1953, it submitted 172 complaints. This figure might have been still lower if the detailed arrangements envisaged in the high level talks of 29 June had been made.
9. I now have a question on the geography of the situation.Is it correct to say that the greatest number of armistice violations ascribed to Jordan, in accordance with the findings of the Mixed Armistice Commission, have come from the area
Tulkarm-Qalqiliya-Jerusalem, contiguous to the area of Israel's greatest population concentration and most vulnerable lines of communication? Would that be an accurate description of the concentration in space of the infiltration movements?
Answer. That is correct. As I stated in my report (para. 33),in a meeting on 24 January 1953 with Israeli representative areas affected by marauders Mr. Vigier, stated that the main during 1952 were Jerusalem and the Jerusalem corridor, the plain of Sharon and the Beisan valley.
19. My next question refers to the local commanders meetings. I should like to ask whether the Chief of Staff can give us his experienced opinion on whether these meetings of junior officers could do more than they have until now, namely deal in a limited way with some of the technical matters that arise after incidents have occurred, such as the return of cows, flocks and small parts of stolen property. Does he believe that the local commanders' meetings or agreements could go very much beyond the scope of those operations?
Answer. My answers to the fourth and sixth questions by the representative of the United Kingdom and to the first question by the representative of the United States answer this question in part. I can only add that it is my belief that regularly scheduled meetings between local commanders can do more than arrange for technical matters that arise after incidents have occurred, such as the return of cows, flocks and small parts of stolen property. These meetings can do much to prevent infiltration. Their effectiveness depends, of course, on the degree of support given to the local commanders by the governments and on the scope of the authority which the parties are willing to extend to these officials within the framework of an agreement providing for such meetings. Their value in preventing incidents could be even greater than their value in settling matters after incidents have occurred.
11. The Security Council, in its resolution of 1 September 1951 [S/2322], has confirmed that since the armistice regime is of a permanent character, the parties to it cannot assert that they are actively belligerent. I wonder whether the Chief of Staff shares the view that a belief by any party in its rights to consider itself a belligerent might have an adverse effect on the operation of the armistice system?
Answer. The question refers to paragraph 5 of the preamble of the resolution of the Security Council of 1 September 1951 which reads as follows:
"5. Considering that since the armistice regime, which has been in existence for nearly two and a half years, is of a permanent character, neither party can reasonably assert that it is. actively a belligerent or requires to exercise the right of visit, search, an seizure for any legitimate purpose of self-defense," In the light of the General Armistice Agreements, I understand this paragraph to mean that the General Armistice Agree-ments concluded between Israel and her Arab neighbors are permanent in the sense that they cannot be terminated under the terms, of these Agreements except by the restoration of peace. If my understanding is correct, this means that, until a peaceful settlement between the parties to an Armistice Agree-ment is achieved, they are obliged to comply with the terms of this Agreement. My functions and responsibilities are therefore concerned with the execution of the General Armistice Agreements and the maintenance of the cease-fire in accordance with the Security, Council's resolution of 11 August 1949. In other words, I am concerned with the actual violations by the parties of the provisions and terms of these instruments. In my opinion no violation of the cease-fire or of the General Armistice Agreements is permissible.
12. On the subject of the meaning of the Armistice Agreements, we note that the Armistice Agreements are described in their own texts and in Security Council resolutions as a transition to a permanent peace. May I ask whether the Chief of Staff would like to say whether he regards this as a very fundamental part of the armistice system? Would he regard the acceptance of this concept as something which would alter the security situation? Finally, has the Truce Supervision Organization recently
taken any steps to remind the parties of this objective which they have signed in the Armistice Agreements?
Answer. I agree that
an armistice system in general, by its very nature, is a transitional arrangement. In particular, the General Armistice Agreements concluded in 1949 between Israel and her neighbors have been accepted by the parties as transitional arrangements. Article I of each of the General Armistice Agreements contains a provision to the effect that the establishment of an armistice between the armed forces of the two parties "is accepted as an indispensable step toward the liquidation of armed conflict and the restoration of peace in Palestine". The parties have agreed to consider this provision as one of the principles to be fully observed by them during the armistice.
As for the security situation under the Armistice Agreements, this depends primarily, as I 'have suggested in my answer to the preceding question, upon the actual compliance by the parties with the terms of the Agreements and the terms of the Security Council resolution of 11 August 1949. The Security Council, on the one hand, and the parties, through the Armistice Agreements on the other, have defined the functions of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization. He has not been called upon in particular, either by the Security Council or by the parties through the Armistice Agreements, to take any official steps to remind the parties of the principles which they have accepted, except in so far any of these principles may have a bearing on the actual implementation of an Armistice Agreement in a concrete case.
13. Could General Bennike present to the Security Council a summary of the agendas of local commanders' meetings since the beginning of their operation, of proposals made during these meetings and decisions adopted at them?
Many local commanders' meetings are held without a United Nations observer being present. When a United Nations observer is present, he makes a brief record of the proceedings. There is no pattern in the agendas, the proposals and the decisions of the meetings. No two meetings are alike. In general, information is exchanged concerning infiltration and known infiltrators; captured infiltrators are returned, as well as stolen property and animals. Decisions are made on establishing better means of communication between the au-thorities on both sides. Special meetings have often resulted in prompt action to stop firing across the line. Some of the incidents which have been handled are small in themselves, but many of these could well have erupted into major incidents if they had not been checked at the outset. I am convinced that if local commanders were carefully selected, if they were given proper instructions and some latitude in taking speedy action, there is practically no limit to the good they could do in reducing tension and improving the spirit of co-operation in their sectors.
14. General Bennike mentions several incidents where allegedly Israeli armed forces crossed the demarcation line. Could the General confirm that the following resolutions condemning attacks by regular and irregular Jordan forces against Israel territory have been adopted since 1 January 1953? (These resolutions are enumerated in appendix II, a.)
The Israeli representative has quoted as part of his question the decisions of twelve meetings of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission held between 30 January and 14 October 1953. The list of decisions appears in appendix II (a) to my answers. To complete the record, additional decisions taken at two of the meetings referred to in the question appear in appendix II (b).
I assume that the point of the question is whether in these decisions the Mixed Armistice Commission
found that breaches of the Armistice Agreements were committed by regular or irregular Jordan forces. I can confirm that all of the resolutions quoted by the representative of Israel condemned violations from the Jordan side. Only three of the resolutions, however, no. 2 adopted at the 108th meeting, no. 1 adopted at the 127th meeting, and no. 2 adopted at the 141st meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission referred to units of the Arab Legion or other Jordan security forces. All the other resolutions referred to "armed groups", "armed civilians", or "armed men". There is no evidence that these were members of the security forces of Jordan.
15. In paragraph 39 of the report, General Bennike stated that "Jordan is taking measures against infiltration and will continue to do so". In order to assist us in the evaluation of the under-takings of the Government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom, could General Bennike tell us whether that Government brought to trial, and what were the sentences imposed upon, the per-petrators of the following murders, which occurred during the last six months and were condemned by Mixed Armistice Commission resolutions, or the perpetrators of any other murder not on this list which was committed at any time since the signing of the Armistice Agreement by Jordanians against Israelis ?
In this question the Israeli representative listed ten incidents; the list appears in appendix III to my answers.
We have no information concerning the sentences imposed on perpetrators of crimes from either side. The work of the Mixed Armistice Commission has been limited to investigating the facts and determining whether a violation of the General Armistice Agreement has occurred. The apprehension and punishment of those who may be guilty is a matter within the jurisdiction of each State. I understand that at the local commanders' meetings some information on this matter has been exchanged.
16. In paragraph 32 of General Bennike's report, it is stated that an Israeli soldier was killed when an Israeli patrol crossed the demarcation line and exchanged fire with the inhabitants of Falameh village. Would the General tell us whether the body had any identification disc which would have identified him as an Israeli soldier; whether the number on the disc was communicated to the Israeli authorities, and whether the body was handed over to Israel?
The body had an Israeli identification disc marked with the number 232046 and the name Yehuda Kacim, in Hebrew. This information was communicated to the Israeli authorities. On 23 January, the body was handed over to two officers of the Israeli Army who accepted it as that of an Israeli soldier without any reservations on this point.
VII. Questions put by the representative of the Hashemite
1. Does General Bennike consider that attacks carried out by regular Israeli forces are becoming more frequent? Are they becoming more serious in relation to Jordanian loss of lives and material damage? Do increasingly larger Israeli armed forces participate in such attacks on Jordan territory?
In the light of events since the beginning of this year, I must answer yes to the three parts of this question, with the exception of the part relating to damages.
2. What is the extent of material damage suffered by Jordan from Israeli infiltration and aggression since the beginning of the present truce in April 1949?
am not in possession of information which would enable me to answer this question, since neither the Truce' Supervision Organization nor the Mixed Armistice Commission is required to measure or assess damage.
Can General Bermike state
bow many Israeli attacks were carried out by Israeli military forces in relation to the total violations by Israelis?
Of the 21 resolutions condemning Israel, adopted by the Israeli-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission, four refer to action by "Israeli armed groups," one to "armed Israelis," four to "Israeli forces," one to "Israeli regular forces," one to "Israeli troops," one to "Israeli soldiers," one to "Israeli defense forces," five to "Israeli security forces," one to "an officer and Israeli security forces," one to "Israeli armored cars," and one to "Israeli regular army." The answer to your question is sixteen.
4. We note that the Israeli Press, in describing a crime committed inside Israel, usually ends the article with "the tracks led to the border". General Bennike, do you have any information that would indicate that terrorist groups are active inside Israel? Is it not true that many cases attributed to Jordanians by the Israeli Press are found to be crimes committed by Israelis against Israelis?
The Truce Supervision Organization has no special information on these two questions.
5. Would Major General Vagn Bennike compare the degree of co-operation of Jordan and Israel with the Truce Organization since the local commanders' agreement was signed?
The degree of co-operation of the parties under the Local Commanders' Agreement is difficult to compare. There have been recent cases where one of the parties failed to appear for the meeting. A higher degree of co-operation is certainly possible.
6. We note that in appendix I and III of his report, General Bennike gives figures concerning the number of resolutions passed against the parties for the years 1952 and 1953. Could the General furnish a breakdown of the resolutions passed against the parties for the years 1949, 1950 and 1951?
The answer to this question may be found in appendix I, which I have submitted to the President of the Security Council with the request that it be included in the record of this meeting.
7. Has General Bermike or his staff been threatened or prevented from inspecting demilitarized zones under his control? When, where and under which circumstances?
have already answered this question in my reply to question 2 from the representative of Lebanon.
8. How many times were the United Nations observers fired at by Israelis in the course of their investigations?
United Nations observers have found themselves under fire on numerous occasions, In most cases they have been caught under an exchange of fire. As I have pointed out before, I am convinced that the parties are aware of their responsibilities for the safety of observers engaged in the performance of their functions. I have no evidence that they have ever been shot at directly when the firing party was aware of the fact that they were United Nations observers.
9. Did any organized attack by the Arab Legion take place against Israeli settlements or villages? Did the Arab Legion engage during the truce in any mass murders or mass destruction?
have stated in my reply to question 9 from the representative of Lebanon, Jordan regular forces were condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for three violations of the General, Armistice
Agreement, none of which was an organized attack by the Arab Legion against an Israeli settlement or village. The text of the resolutions may be found in appendix II to this report.
10. In relation to 191 complaints against Jordan for simple crossing of the line by Jordanian civilians, can the Chief of Staff confirm that these were settled without discussion because the Armistice Commission was satisfied that they had in advertently occurred without any real intent to violate the General Armistice Agreement?
As stated in appendix III to my report to the Security Council, the 191 complaints concerning civilian crossing of the demarcation line referred to in the above question were settled without investigation or discussion of the individual complaints and cleared from an overloaded agenda. For example, the decision on 57 of these complaints was ratified at the 80th meeting of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission on 24 January 1952, following a report of the sub-committee which merely listed the complaints by number followed by the agreed resolution. The representative of Jordan pointed out that the cases had not been investigated on the spot. He added: "I do not say that in certain of these cases infiltrators did not commit them, but I doubt very much if in every case infiltrators are responsible." There was a general discussion on the practicability of conducting an investigation. The Chairman recalled attention to the wording of the sub-committee's decision which used the term "inconsistent with article IV, paragraph 3," rather than "constitute a breach of article IV, paragraph 3". There was even less consideration of the remaining complaints in this category and it is impossible for me to state categorically the motivation of the parties in agreeing to these decisions other than their desire to have them cleared from the agenda.
11. How can the Truce Supervision Organization be rein-forced to ensure the respect of the Armistice Agreements?
reinforcement of the Truce Supervision Orga-nization can in itself ensure respect of the Armistice Agree-ments. Such respect must come from the parties themselves. However, it is my opinion that the present tense situation might be improved, particularly with regard to the observance of the cease-fire, if the observer group were strengthened to enable the Truce Supervision Organization to maintain observers at critical points along the armistice demarcation lines. The presence of these observers, as I pointed out in an answer to a preceding question, would probably have a dampening effect on potential violators of the Armistice Agreements.
STATISTICS TAKEN FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE JORDAN-ISRAEL MIXED ARMISTICE COMMISSION
1949.................... 15 42
1950.................... 112 79
1951.................... 167 116
1952.................... 344 138
1953 (to 15 October) 178 167
TOTALS 816 542
Type of complaint Complaints compliants
1. Crossing of the demarcation line by military units 58 212
2 Crossig of the demarcation line lby armed
individuals or groups 170 17
3. Crossing of the demarcation lilne by unarmed
individuals or groups 422 15
4. Firing acrss the demarcaiton line 101 173
5. Overflilglhts 23 65 (5415 persons)
6. Expulsions 42 16
Total 816 542
June 1949 through 1952:
Israelis Israelis Jordanians Jordanians
killed wounded killed wounded
Israel alleges the following casualties
inside Israel were caused by Jordan attacks 57 64 43 13
Condemnation of Jordan by the Mixed Armistice
Commission verified the following casualties
caused by Jordanian action 14 17 2 1
Jordan alleges the following casualties inside
Jordan were caused by Israeli attacks 8 1 89 70
Condemnation of Israel by the Mixed Armistice
Commission verified the following casualties
caused by Israeli action 5 1 22 25
1 January through 15 October 1953:
Israel alleges the following casualties
inside Israel resulted from Jordanian attacks 32 37 25 5
Condemnation of Jordan by the Mixed Armistice
Commission verified the following casualties
caused by Jordanian action 10 13 -- --
Jordan alleges the following casualties
inside Jordan resulted from Israel attacks 11 6 86 59
Condemnation of Israel by the Mixed
Armistice Commission verified the following
casualties caused by Israeli action 2 -- 55* 23
The Mixed Armistice Commission, by resolutions passed, condemned the parties for the following breaches of the General Armistice Agreement.
Article III, paragraph 2
"No element of the land sea or air military or para-military
* To be in accordance with the resolution of the Mixed Armistice commission, this figure (55) includes 42 of those killed at Qibya.