262. Editorial Note

On September 5, the United Nations Security Council received a report from Major-General E.L.M. Burns, Chief of Staff of the [Page 449] United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. In this document,Burns detailed the events that had occurred in the Gaza Strip since August 22, and stressed that the repetition of such incidents could be avoided only if Egyptian and Israeli forces were separated by an effective physical barrier along the demarcation line. (U.N. doc.S/3430)

On September 7, the Permanent Representatives of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States addressed a letter, together with the text of a joint draft resolution, to the President of the Security Council requesting that the Security Council convene as soon as possible to consider a cessation of hostilities and measures to prevent further incidents in the Gaza area. (U.N. doc.S/3432)

As a result of this tripartite request, the Security Council held its 700th meeting the following day, September 8. Ambassador Lodge and most of the other members of the Security Council stressed the advisability of refraining from introducing into the debate the question of responsibility for the recent incidents and emphasized the necessity of enforcing the suggestions of the Chief of Staff. After the representatives of Egypt and Israel expressed the positions of their governments, the Security Council unanimously adopted the draft resolution. (U.N. doc.S/PV. 700)

This resolution noted that both Egypt and Israel had accepted the appeal of the Chief of Staff for an unconditional cease-fire; called upon both parties to take all necessary steps to establish order and tranquillity in the Gaza area and, in particular, to desist from acts of violence and to continue the cease-fire in full force and effect; endorsed General Burns’ view that the Egyptian and Israeli Armed Forces should be clearly and effectively separated; held that United Nations observers should have freedom of movement in the area to fulfill their functions; and called upon both parties to appoint representatives to meet with the Chief of Staff and to cooperate with him fully to achieve these ends. (U.N. doc.S/3432)