416. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1

19842. Subj: Israeli Occupation. Ref: Jerusalem’s A–3 of July 14 and A–5 of July 17.2

Department believes it useful to remind GOI authorities of interest with which world is following their actions as occupying power particularly where large concentrations of Palestinians involved. USG well aware from own extensive experience as occupying power that it is impossible to prevent all friction under conditions of military rule. Dept. also aware that GOI record on this score on balance quite good so far. Nevertheless this is subject requiring constant alertness, as occasional incidents show. Embassy should take early opportunity to approach Foreign Ministry and perhaps IDF contacts in low key citing recent examples of allegedly rough handling given local population by IDF. Examples should be specific but suitably sanitized to avoid compromising source, or indicating too clearly that they were reported by Jerusalem.
Destruction of villages near Latrun (Jerusalem’s A–5) cannot forever be hidden from public knowledge, as witness mimeographed account put out by Israeli group and Alfred Friendly articles in Washington Post. It could be pointed out to Israelis that, whatever may have been IDF’s reason for depopulating this area, act itself and manner in which it carried out likely to linger in memories of wide Arab audience much as do few cases of Israeli brutality and destruction of villages during war of 1948–49.
Department officers undertaking parallel low-key approaches here in hope the reminder will help prevent recurrence of such acts.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Confidential. Drafted by Lambrakis on August 11; cleared by Atherton, Houghton, and Grey; and approved by Davies. Repeated to Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut, and London.
  2. Neither printed. (Ibid., POL 27–9 ARAB–ISR)