Israel Protests Jordanian Attack to UNSC 14 May 1948

UN Document S/744

Copied and retyped from on 19 September 2013


Your excellency:

I had the honor yesterday afternoon to submit for your information a cable received by the Jewish Agency in New York from our Executive in Palestine, a copy of which is enclosed, regarding the attack launched on the bloc of Jewish settlements at Kfar Etzion by the Arab Legion. Attention was also drawn in that message to the impending onslaught on the Jewish population of Palestine  by the Arab Legion supported by Iraqi troops, now jointly under the command of King Abdullah of’ Transjordan.

Reports today indicate that Kfar Etzion has succumbed to the attacks of the Arab Legion and that Jewish casualties were heavy.

It will be recalled in this connection that at the two hundred and eighty-third meeting of the Sccurity Council on April 16, 1948, Sir Alexander Cadogan stated, in response to a reference by Mr. Shertok to the danger which the presence of units of’ the Arab Legion constituted to the Jewish community in Palestine, that “we have already announced that the units of the Arab Legion in Palestine will be withdrawn before the Mandate comes to an end.”

I have the honor formally to request that there be placed on the agenda of the Security Council the question of acts of aggression on the part of the Kingdom of Transjordan through the instrumentality of the Arab Legion, which is financed, equipped and officered by Great Britain, on the basis of Anglo-Transjordan Treaties of 1946 and 1948.

I have the honor to be, etc.
(Signed) Abba Hillel Silver


Urge immediate strongest effort secure urgent immediate direct strongest warning by President to King Abdullah view his desisting from impending invasion and onslaught on Jewish Population Palestine by Arab Legion and Iraqi troops now jointly under his command.  Cable should be addressed Amman Direct. Hours count.

Senior British Staff Officer Jerusalem today informed our Liason officially that Arab Legion now no longer under British Command. This position is in glaring contradiction Cadogan’s assurance Security Council Legion be withdrawn from Palestine before May 15. Legion these very hours engaged storming reducing Kfar Etzion and neighbouring settlements.

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About David Gerald Fincham

Retired academic scientist.
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  • Nick

    While it is always sad if people (even fighters) are massacred after a battle, in this case the victims had nobody but themselves to blame.

    They (or their political representatives) claimed to have accepted the partition lines of the non-ratified UNGA 181.

    Having done so, they had two choices, either return to the Jewish portion or accept whatever new sovereignty took over in the Arab portion

    They did neither of those things, preferring to defy the new sovereignty with arms. It was crazy and it cost them dearly as it was bound to do.

    This case is regularly compared by the Zionists with the massacre of Deir Yassin as if the two were comparable. Whereas the victims of the Zionists were villagers, almost totally unarmed and complete innocents. Their agony was only the best documented of 400 such actions.

    Rarely mentioned is that the Zionists took brutal revenge for Kfar Etzion, again on complete innocents, this from Benny Morris:

    ‘The first [wave] of conquerors killed about 80 to 100 men, women, and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead,’ wrote Kaplan. Kaplan’s informant, who arrived immediately afterwards in the second wave, reported that Arab men and women who remained were then shut away in houses ‘without food or water.’ Sappers arrived to blow up the houses.

    One commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain house … and to blow up the house with them. The sapper refused … The commander then ordered his men to put the old women in the house and the evil deed was done. One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her. One woman, with a newborn baby in her arms, was employed to clean the courtyard where the soldiers ate. She worked a day or two. In the end they shot her and her baby.

    The soldier-witness, according to Kaplan, said: “cultured officers … had turned into base murderers and this not in the heat of battle … but out of a system of expulsion and destruction. The less Arabs remained—the better. This principle is the political motor for the expulsions and the atrocities.[8][9][10][11]