235. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations 1

723. Re: UNEF in Gaza. We are seriously concerned Egyptian return to Gaza assuming character complete rather than token administrative takeover. Cairo 29242 contains press reports indicating: (a) local public security functions have been turned over to “Palestinian police” under supervision Egyptian administration; (b) turnover of frontier check-post to Egyptians; (c) headquarters building being handed over Egyptian governor; (d) UNRWA agreed turn over to Egyptians supply, health and education functions former temporarily had assumed.

However, SYG this morning in phone conversation with Secretary3 said that reports from Burns indicated UNEF very much in evidence in Gaza and Egyptians very little in evidence.

We believe SYG should inform Bunche and Burns of our concern over press reports and if proved to be correct to instruct them to take all feasible measures limit present Egyptian takeover to symbolic basis only and refrain from entering into new arrangement with Egyptian officials or finalizing those in process. We assume discussion of these and other problems will of necessity be undertaken by SYG in Cairo on basis arrangements contemplated by GA.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/3–1757. Confidential; Niact. Drafted by Sisco and Howe, approved by Dulles, and initialed by Howe for Dulles.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid.)
  3. See the memorandum of telephone conversation, supra.
  4. In telegram 656 from USUN, March 19, Lodge reported that, when he relayed this request to Hammarskjold, the latter replied that emphatic instructions had been sent to Burns to resist Egyptian pressures pending his consultations in Cairo. Hammarskjöld also said that the only promise which he had given to the Israelis about UNEF in Sharm al-Sheikh had been not to withdraw without notifying the Advisory Committee. (Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/3–1957)