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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa

Palestine,   pp. 999-1328 PDF (126.4 MB)

Page 1324

III. Arab Situation.
  There is a tendency among outside countries to overrate the im-
portance of the present unrest and violence in Palestine. As stated
above, most outbreaks of trouble since the partition decision have been
sporadic and unorganized. Such disturbances are to be expected in a
country where there is so much tension and uncertainty as there are
here. But responsible Arab headquarters are undoubtedly watching
the situation and waiting for a favorable time to make a serious step.
This time may come later in the spring when the proposed actions of
the British become much more apparent than they are now. The Arabs.
will also have to wait until they are better organized and prepared
than they are now.
  The signs of serious preparation on the part of the Arabs for re-
sistance- are many. The women of the country are preparing bandages
and material for the welfare of the troops. Young men are being con-
stantly recruited and sent to neighboring states to be trained for mili-
tary service. Some bands are already organized in the country and are
working in a coordinated way. This is evidenced by the recent out-
break of attacks on freight trains and by the carefully selected targets
of such attacks. Tons of food and rations have been stolen at such
times-and it is most probable that these materials are being taken
to safe storage for later use. There is an active market here for all
kinds of arms and ammunition. Frequent thefts are made of guns and
equipment from the British military. And there are constant reports
on the desertion of Arab constables from the Police Force. These
latter take their arms with them, and the rate of deserters has pres-
ently reached the average daily figure of fifteen. This points to the
impracticability of the announced UN intention to rely on the use of
local militia to maintain order.
  Cooperation among Palestinians and members of the countries of
the Arab League is close and seems to be more coordinated than before.
Constant information shows that the Palestine Arabs are relying for
considerable assistance, especially in arms, food and training of young
men, on the surrounding Arab countries. Those delegates to UNGA
who before the partition vote spoke with apparent contemptuousness
of Arab bluff and will to resist would find it difficult, in this at-
mosphere, to continue in that belief. Yet observers here note-with
some wonderment, based on news which has so far reached this post,
that the UN still proceeds toward the task of partitioning Palestine
with no apparent realization of the extent of Arab determination to
  It is felt that the arrival of the UN Commission will probably stimu-
late Arab activity. It is also felt that the Arab attitude toward the

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