Count Folke BernadotteBernadotte Plans Truce Extension, But the Arabs Hold Out Little Hope

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By the Associated Press

CAIRO, July 5-Count Folke Bernadotte sought Jewish and Arab agreement today on extending the Palestine truce and proposed the demilitarization of Jerusalem, the big oil-outlet port of Haifa.

The United Nations mediator took these steps as both the Jews and Arabs were authoritatively reported to have rejected his partition plan for a permanent Palestine peace.

The four-week truce arranged by Bernadotte ends Friday. He said if the Jews and Arabs accept extension in principle discussions will be held as to its length.

Bernadotte appeared hopeful he would gain the extension and obtain conditions under which peace talks could be continued.

He left his headquarters at Rhodes by plane for Tel Aviv after talking with newsmen. After conferences with Israel leaders he will travel to Cairo to talk with Arab league representatives. He will go back to Tel Aviv, for more talks with the Jews, then return to Rhodes.


The general atmosphere was not encouraging. Baghdad newspapers carried editorials today saying continued negotiations were a waste of time. The Jews hoped for peace but prepared for war. They raised the draft age for the army from 35 to 41 and tried out new searchlights purchased for the defense of Tel Aviv.

(United Press reported Arab military leaders voted in a meeting in Cairo to resume full-scale fighting when the present truce expires. A member of the Military Committee of the Arab League was quoted as saying his group decided the truce only strengthened the Jews.

Though the Arab League Political and Military committees in Cairo speak in the name of their governments, it was hoped in Rhodes that the respective governments themselves might agree to Bernadotte’s truce extension proposal United Press said.)

Bernadotte said at Rhodes that he proposed the demilitarization of Jerusalem, and of the port, terminal and refinery facilities in Jewish-controlled Haifa.

Bernadotte said United Nations guards would be used for policing the Jerusalem and Haifa areas. They would be enlisted from the U. N. Truce Commission members-the United States, France and Belgium. He said a majority favored in principle the sending of guards.


He estimated that 1000 guards would be needed for Jerusalem alone.

“You will recall I obtained agreement for demilitarization of Mount Scopus and the German hospice areas of Jerusalem,” he told newsmen.

“Now, I’ve made formal proposals that whatever is to happen, if war should start, Jerusalem is to be demilitarized.

“Similar arrangements are being proposed for the Haifa port terminals and oil refinery. You understand oil is quite important for the whole world.”

The British-owned Consolidated Oil Refineries, Ltd., in Haifa has been closed more than two months. Normally, it supplies about 90 percent of the oil needs of all Middle Eastern countries. Oil men in Haifa said some of these supplies were to have been diverted across the Mediterranean for use in the European recovery program.


Bernadotte suggested the oil refinery and pipeline to the Mediterranean could again pour out needed supplies if the Haifa zone were demilitarized.

Some sources said Haifa demilitarization might aid in gaining Arab consent to a truce extension.

The proposals by Bernadotte for a permanent peace would partition Palestine, create an Arab-Jewish economic union, throw Arab Palestine in with Trans-Jordan and put Jerusalem under Arab rather than international rule. The U. N. would get the final say on immigration.

Sources in Tel Aviv said chief opposition there to Bernadotte’s plan centered on turning Jerusalem over to Arab rule and restrictions placed on immigration.