Assassination of UN Mediator – Cablegram from SecGen Personal Representative


CABLEGRAM FROM R. BUNCHE, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

OF SECRETARY-GENERAL, DATED 17 SEPTEMBER 1948 ADDRESSED

TO SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNING ASSASSINATION

OF UNITED NATIONS MEDIATOR

FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL:

COUNT FOLKE BERNADOTTE, UNITED NATIONS MEDIATOR ON PALESTINE, BRUTALLY ASSASSINATED BY JEWISH ASSAILANTS OF UNKNOWN IDENTITY, IN PLANNED, COLD-BLOODED ATTACK IN THE NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM AT 1405 GMT TODAY FRIDAY SEVENTEENTH SEPTEMBER.  MEDIATOR, IN JERUSALEM ON OFFICIAL TOUR, WAS ENROUTE FROM GOVERNMENT HOUSE TO YMCA IN A CONVOY OF THREE CARS, TWO OF WHICH WERE FLYING UNITED NATIONS FLAGS AND ONE A RED CROSS FLAG.  PARTY ACCOMPANIED BY AN OFFICIAL LIAISON OFFICER OF THE JEWISH FORCES.  IN THE KATAMON QUARTER OF NEW CITY, WELL WITHIN JEWISH LINES ALL THREE CARS WERE STOPPED AT A ROAD BLOCK IN WHICH WAS PARKED AN ISRAELI ARMY TYPE JEEP FILLED WITH MEN IN JEWISH ARMY UNIFORMS ALL OF WHOM GOT OUT BUT THE DRIVER.  TWO OF THESE MEN, APPARENTLY RECOGNIZING THE MEDIATORS CAR APPROACHED IT, STOOD BY THE WINDOW AND FIRED AT POINT BLANK RANGE.  COUNT BERNADOTTE AND COLONEL ANDRE P SEROT FRENCH AIR FORCES, UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER, SITTING BESIDE HIM IN REAR OF CAR, WERE BOTH HIT SEVERAL TIMES COLONEL SEROT BEING KILLED INSTANTLY, AND COUNT BERNADOTTE HAVING LOST CONSCIOUSNESS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, DYING WITHIN A FEW MINUTES OF HIS ARRIVAL AT HADASSAH HOSPITAL, WHERE HE WAS DRIVEN BY UN SECRETARIAT OFFICER FRANK BEGLEY, WHO WAS DRIVER OF MEDIATORS CAR TIME OF ATTACK AND WHO SUFFERED ONLY POWDER BURNS.  GENERAL AAGE LUNDSTROM, CHIEF OF STAFF OF TRUCE SUPERVISION, ALSO SEATED IN REAR OF CAR, MIRACULOUSLY ESCAPED INJURY.  COMMANDER WILLIAM R COX UNITED NATIONS NAVY, UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER, SEATED IN FRONT OF CAR ALSO UNINJURED.

DR BERNARD JOSEPH, MILITARY GOVERNOR OF JERUSALEM AND COLONEL DAYAN, MILITARY COMMANDER OF ISRAELI FORCES IN JERUSALEM IMMEDIATELY EXPRESSED DEEP REGRET AND CONCERN AND STATED THEIR INTENTION TO HUNT DOWN ASSAILANTS.

SITUATION IN JERUSALEM TENSE.  CONSULTING WITH TRUCE COMMISSION AND SENIOR OBSERVERS CONCERNING FUTURE ARRANGEMENTS AFFECTING OBSERVER PERSONNEL IN JERUSALEM WHO ARE IN CONSTANT DANGER.

GENERAL LUNDSTROM, AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF MEDIATOR AND HIS CHIEF OF STAFF, CARRYING ON WITH DIRECTION TRUCE SUPERVISION IN CONSULTATION WITH TRUCE COMMISSION AND GENERAL WILLIAM E RILEY UNITED STATES MARINES, SENIOR UNATIONS OBSERVER.

ALL MEMBERS OF OBSERVER CORPS AND UNITED NATIONS SECRETARIAT STAFF DEEPLY SHOCKED AT SUDDEN LOSS OF THEIR LEADER IN THIS WORK WHOSE HIGH INTEGRITY, TIRELESSNESS, DEVOTION TO HIS MISSION AND GREAT PERSONAL COURAGE WERE INSPIRATION TO US ALL

BUNCHE

Personal Representative of
the Secretary-General to the
United Nations Mediator


Document symbol: S/1002
Document Type: Cablegram
Document Sources: Secretary-General, Security Council
Subject: Incidents, Palestine question
Publication Date: 17/09/1948
2019-03-12T20:11:53-04:00

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