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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa (in two parts)

Israel,   pp. 533-1707 ff. PDF (461.4 MB)

Page 1302

he replied that Arab Legion should withdraw to Transjordcan but
stated he realized this suggestion would not be accepted. Bernadotte
then said he would issue an order p'rohibiting any return fire by either
side for three days as soon as more observers arrive as ,an attempt to
eliminate sniping. Joseph agreed to this proposal but refused to ,accede
to a following suggestion made by General Riley, chief of American
observers, that armed troops 'and guns be ,withdrawn from strategic
place such ,as Notre Dame on Jewish side -and from equally strategic
place on Arab side ,as an Initial effort to withdraw military forces
from Jerusalem. Joseph b'sed ,his refusal on grounds Arabs could not
be trusted and any withdramwalof Jewish troops would leave that Area
open to Arab attack. He also said this was a military matter to which
he could not commit the military commander. When asked to refer it
to the military commander he said he doubted military commander
wouldd agree to consider or discuss this suggestion with UN observers
-because of its political implications. Political implications to which the
military governor constantly refers is the question of .an international
Jerusalem. Mediatorr then specifically requested Joseph to endeavor
arrange meeting between the military commander Jewish Jerusalem
and UN -observers to carry on discussions along above lines to which
military governor agreed but stated hie could not guarantee military
commander would meet Bernadotte's request.
   Military governor w'as on defensive yesterday and his attitude was
better 'than last week. Mediator referred to him -as being 'slightly less
objectionable than usual.
   Similar suggestions were m'ade to Arab 'Legion 'leaders yesterday
afternoon as presented Jews and Arabs agreed but suggested that pro-
hibition 'against returning fire be a permanent order rather than
limited -to three 'days.
   Mediator presented strong letter to both 'sides regarding sniping and
 similar violations truce and threatened to get tough and refer question
 toSC if conditions do not improve.
   Disregard for truce has increased steadily creating mounting dis-
trust on part of Arab and Jews re each other's intentions. Mediator's
latest efforts in 'addition to greatly increased number of observers
Jerusalem area should result in improving situation if Jews cooperate
but from their past actions and general 'attitude 'at recent conferences
I am pessimistic regarding their intentions. Inasmuch as they are very
sensitive to criticism 'and public opinion their attitude 'and policies
might be 'influenced 'and directed towards better coloperation if they
were publicly criticised by the UN and especially by the United States
of [for] their failure to cooperate in finding a solution to the Palestine
               .....                                     MACDONALD

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