CABLEGRAM DATED 27 DECEMBER FROM THE ACTING MEDIATOR TO PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL TRANSMITTING ADDITIONAL REPORT REGARDING THE FIGHTING IN THE NEGEV
I have the honour to submit following additional information on Negev situation received since my report of 24 December.
The daily observers' report of 24 December reported that United Nations observers at Gaza witnessed Israeli attacked on Strategic Hill on 23 December followed by an Egyptian counter-attack which recaptured the Hill. Numerous armoured cars were employed by both sides. No fighting in this area was observed on 24 December but fighting in Khan Yunis area was continuing on that date. It was also reported that Israeli ships attacked coast in Gaza vicinity on night of 23-24 December and were engaged by Egyptian shore guns. Israeli planes bombed Khan Yunis on 27 December. The 24 December report stated Tel Aviv observers still not permitted access to Negev. Request of Senior United Nations Observer Tel Aviv on 24 December for Israeli liaison officers to accompany United Nations observers to the Gaza-Rafah area for specific purpose of investigating Egyptian complaints and Gaza observer reports of Israeli attacks were refused by Israeli authorities with no reason given.
On 26 December I received word from my representative in Tel Aviv that Israeli authorities in response to my protest against curtailment gave oral assurance that resumption of these activities would be allowed the same way as formerly but permission thus given would not apply to area of fighting.
The daily observers' report of 26 December reported that Gaza observers witnessed Egyptian firing on planes in vicinity Gaza and Rafah on 25 December. On same date Gaza observers heard heavy smallarms fire and shell explosives to north and south of Gaza indicating violent action. Darkness prevented investigation. Observers reported some 90 bombs dropped on Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah or 26 December. Haifa observers witnessed three B17 flying south from Ramat David on 24 December and Tel Aviv observers saw two B17 flying south on 26 December.
Observers' report of 26 December states United Nations observers at Tel Aviv still prevented from visiting Negev.