25. Telegram From the Consulate General at Jerusalem to the Department of State 1

266. Lucas, American political adviser with UNTSO, has given me following details recent developments.

When Burns received letter from Eytan of January 4 (Tel Aviv’s telegram 715 to Department2) “confirming” acceptance UNSYG proposals for El Auja D/Z, he inquired as to status Foreign Ministry communiqué dated December 273 which indicated Israel’s acceptance UNSYG’s proposals conditional on Egypt’s agreeing “to ensure an effective cease-fire and to honor fully all provisions GAA”.

Replying Burns’ inquiry Foreign Ministry informed him that Israel’s acceptance as set forth in Eytan’s letter of January 4 is “complete and self-explanatory.” Reply continued with statement to effect that Israel now awaits similar acceptance from Egypt, pending which Foreign Ministry saw no point in implementing UNSYG proposals nor in entering into any discussions about them.

Burns saw Gohar on January 10. Gohar said Egypt interprets so-called unconditional acceptance by Israel as meaning that Israel will (1) maintain the kibbutz in El Auja D/Z (2) allow marking of western boundary only and (3) maintain 30 “police” in the D/Z. Upshot would be that Israel would come out of discussions El Auja with acquiescence her “right” to maintain “police” there which she did not have before and for which there is no basis. Burns took position that the three points just mentioned should be the subject of separate negotiations and not confused with acceptance of UNSYG proposals for El Auja.

Gohar indicated Egypt willing discuss above matter further when UNSYG visits Cairo.4 Burns proceeding Cairo with UNSYG January 21.5

Regarding Israel’s continuing accounts Egyptian-instigated border incidents, Lucas said it is only in rare instances that Israel [Page 43] submits verbal complaints promptly and requests investigation. Most alleged incidents are subject of written complaints lodged some time after the event and not requesting UNTSO action.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/1–2056. Confidential. Repeated to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Amman, and London. Received at 9:26 a.m., January 21.
  2. Dated January 14, not printed. (Ibid., 674.84A/1–1656) The Israeli Foreign Office did not provide the Embassy in Tel Aviv with a copy of Eytan’s letter to Burns until January 16.
  3. See telegram 473, vol. XIV, p. 893.
  4. U.N. Secretary-General Hammarskjöld left New York on January 15 for talks in the Middle East with Arab and Israeli leaders.
  5. Hammarskjöld was in Egypt January 21–23. On January 24, he announced in Jerusalem that Egypt had accepted his proposals for a reduction of tension in the Al Auja demilitarized zone. Documentation is in Department of State, Central File 674.84A.