REPLY TO THE RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS THREE HUNDRED AND SECOND MEETING, 22 MAY 1948 SUBMITTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF IRAQ AT THE THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTH MEETING ON BEHALF OF THE ARAB STATES
On April 17, the Security Council passed a resolution on a truce in Palestine which was accepted by the representative of Syria on the Security Council and later by all the Arab States. Since that date the Zionists did their best to avoid the implications of that resolution by creating a fait accompli which changed radically the situation to the detriment of the Arab population of Palestine. In accordance with that policy, the Zionists attacked the unarmed Arab civilian population by taking advantage of the last days of the mandate. They dominated the Arab towns which they could take by force whether they were totally or partly Arab in population like Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias, Safad, and Acre. Massacres of unparalleled savagery followed, like the massacre of Deir Yessin, and the massacre of Nasiriddin, near Tiberias. Moreover, one quarter of a million of the Arab civilian population left their homes and took refuge in the neighbouring Arab countries.
Upon the termination of the mandate, the Zionists attacked Jerusalem ignoring the cease-fire order previously agreed upon by both sides, as well as the truce agreement presented by the Mandatory Power with the concurrence of the Truce Commission and the Arabs themselves on May 12. On May 14, the Zionists proclaimed their State without any attention to the Security Council's resolution of April 17. The resolution was observed by the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab States by not proclaiming their Palestine State. In that situation, and in view of the continuous terrorist activities, the Arab States had no alterative but to take coordinated action to preserve the Arabs of Palestine including repatriation of the quarter million displaced Arabs as well as to restore peace and order.
Now, and after the Jews had taken the utmost advantage to change the political and military status before May 15 in utter disregard of the Security Council's resolution of April 17, the Arab States are now asked to stop their measures to protect themselves and restore peace and order. All the Arab people are anxious to see peace restored to Palestine and they like nothing better than to abide by the requests of the Security Council. There is, however, one fundamental consideration, namely, that the Arabs are dealing with terrorist gangs who abide by no standards. Had it not been for that and had the Arabs been convinced that the cease-fire note would not lead to other attacks and military advantages on the part of the Zionists, the position of the Arabs would have been different.
The important questions to be asked in this respect are these: Is the cease-fire likely to stop the flow of Jewish immigrants going to Palestine to fight the Arabs as well as the importation of arms? Is the cease-fire likely to stop the terrorists from their acts of violence and guarantee the safety of the Arab civilian population?
The Arab armies themselves are not convinced that the Jewish forces will not at any sudden moment break without provocation a truce and attack them. What guarantee is there? For it must be forgotten that the Arab forces are not fighting a regular army but terrorist gangs trained in certain parts of Europe and other regions under the expert hands of forces which for a long time had visited on the world the worst evils. It is surprising that the regular Arab armies are being treated on an equal footing with terrorist bands of a minority intending to impose their will by force on the majority.
In conclusion, I am directed to state in the name of all the Arab States that those States being anxious to restore peace to Palestine and willing to cooperate with the Security Council for such an endeavour, are of the opinion that the resolution of the Council of April 17 should be observed in order that the cease-fire should not be a lull working for more bitter fighting. The cease-fire at the present does not guarantee neither to the Arabs of Palestine nor to the neighbouring Arab States the safety they are seeking. And yet, and being anxious to realize the purpose of the efforts of the Security Council, namely, the arrival at a just solution and a lasting peace, I am authorized to inform you that the political committee of the Arab League is ready to study within a time limit of 48 hours any suggestion which the Security Council may make to them along the line of a solution of the Palestine problem.
Document Type: Communication
Document Sources: Security Council
Subject: Armed conflict, Arms control and regional security issues, Ceasefire, Incidents, Middle East situation, Negotiations and agreements, Palestine question, Peace proposals and efforts
Publication Date: 22/05/1948