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UN Security Council Resolutions: Resolution 61

(November 4, 1948)

On 15 October 1948, fighting broke out in the Negev after Egyptian forces had fired on an Israeli convoy. In the course of the fighting, the Israel Defence Forces drove the Egyptian army out of the northern Negev, captured Beersheba and surrounded an Egyptian brigade in Faluia. On 19 October, the Security Council demanded an immediate and unconditional cease-fire. Israel accepted, and the truce was resumed on 22 October. The Council also called upon the parties to return to the positions which their forces held on 14 October.

The Security Council,

Having decided on 15 July that, subject to further decision by the Security Council or the General Assembly, the truce shall remain in force in accordance with the resolution of that date and with that of 29 May 1948 until a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine is reached,

Having decided on 19 August that no party is permitted to violate the truce on the grounds that it is undertaking reprisals or retaliations against the other party, and that no party is entitled to gain military or political advantage through violation of the truce, and

Having decided on 29 May that, if the truce was subsequently repudiated or violated by either party or by both, the situation in Palestine could be considered with a view to action under Chapter VII of the Charter,

Takes note of the request communicated to the Government of Egypt and the Provisional Government of Israel by the Acting Mediator on 26 October 1948 (S/1058) following upon the resolution adopted by the Security Council on October 1948; and

Calls upon the interested Governments, without prejudice to their rights, claims or position with regard to a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine or to the position which the Members of the United Nations may wish to take in the General Assembly on such peaceful adjustment:

(1) To withdraw those of their forces which have advanced beyond the positions held on 14 October, the Acting Mediator being authorised to establish provisional lines beyond which no movement of troops shall take place;

(2) To establish, through negotiations conducted directly between the parties, or failing that, through the intermediaries in the service of the United Nations, permanent truce lines and such neutral or demilitarised zones as may appear advantageous, in order to ensure henceforth the full observance of the truce in that area. Failing an agreement, the permanent lines and neutral zones shall be established by decision of the Acting Mediator; and

Appoints a committee of the Council, consisting of the five permanent members together with Belgium and Colombia, to give such advice as the Acting Mediator may require with regard to his responsibilities under this resolution and, in the event that either party or both should fail to comply with sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of the preceding paragraph of this resolution within whatever time-limits the Acting Mediator may think it desirable to fix, to study as a matter of urgency and to report to the Council on further measures it would be appropriate to take under Chapter VII of the Charter.

Sources: The United Nations