501.BB Palestine/3–1249: Telegram

Mr. Wells Stabler to the Secretary of State


101. Government and military circles here have been badly shaken by recent Israeli actions in Negev particularly when armistice negotiations were proceeding at Rhodes. Although still hoping that US and UK as well as United Nations will find some effective method of putting halt to continued violations by Israel of SC resolutions, both in spirit and in letter, they recognize that past efforts to deal with such Israeli violations and faits accomplis have resulted in failure—in de facto acceptance of advantages gained by Israel through violations. While there are indications that Transjordan, facing realistically its present position vis-à-vis Israel, would be willing conclude peace with that country notwithstanding developments in Negev, there is considerable question as to whether Israel will cease its aggressions at this point. Evidence available at Arab Legion and Iraqi headquarters, and confirmed to certain extent by UN observers, points to intended Israeli attack on “Arab triangle”.1 (Immediately following telegram2 quotes text of memorandum on subject provided by Arab Legion headquarters.)

Since previous Israeli violations of SC orders have been undertaken in surprise moves, no opportunity has been offered to take any action concerning them except in nature ex post facto protests. Result has been that violations succeeded as faits accomplis. However in this instance evidence indicates that Israel plans aggressive measures toward an area which cannot even remotely be construed as “Israel territory” and may translate them into action at any time.

Would earnestly and urgently recommend that Department consider calling in Israeli Ambassador and, informing him of these reports, warn him of serious consequences affecting US–Israel relations if Israel undertakes this or any other aggressive action. Unless this is [Page 825] done and Israel is placed firmly on notice another violation and fait accompli will probably be chalked up in Israel’s favor.3

Sent Department 101, repeated Jerusalem 64 for PCC, USUN 6.

  1. The area in Palestine bounded by the towns of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarm.
  2. No. 102, March 12, 7 p. m., not printed.
  3. The Department, in telegram 30 to Amman, March 14, suggested that “If Iraqi and TJ Govts have reliable and specific evidence indicating Israelis planning offensive against triangle, would seem logical for them bring such evidence to attention Bunche.” The telegram was repeated to Baghdad and to Jerusalem for Mr. Ethridge (501.BB Palestine/3–1249).

    London, on March 14, reported information from Sir Alec S. Kirkbride, British Minister to Transjordan, who was then at London for consultation, that the Transjordanian Delegation at Rhodes had suggested that the cease-fire should apply to the Iraqi front as soon as this front would be taken over by Transjordan but that the Israeli Delegation had refused, saying the matter would be discussed after the takeover. It also advised of a telegram received that morning by the Foreign Office from Amman stating that the Israeli Foreign Minister had informed the Transjordanian Delegation that Israeli forces would occupy Samaria to “maintain order” as soon as the Iraqi forces withdrew (telegram 964, 867N.01/3–1449).