‘Truce, Yes; Peace, No!’
The Israeli military operation (Operation Horev) against the Egyptians, which seemed to be condoned by world opinion, nevertheless caused a new political crisis. This crisis was precipitated by the Israeli habit of stalling as long as possible before implementing UN resolutions. On this occasion the stalling was aimed at buying enough time to complete the operation before complying with no other than a British draft resolution, submitted to the Security Council on 29 December 1948, calling on Israel to respect the cease-fire and withdraw from the southern Negev by 6 January 1949. While on the surface this anti-Israel draft resolution was a British initiative, Shertok soon discovered that the main source for major pressure on Israel emanated rather from the USA. Although Ben–Gurion instructed the commander of the southern front, General Yigal Allon, who had pressed for the continuation of the battle over the Sinai, to stop all military activities if and when the British sent in units to enforce the cease-fire, and in any case to change the direction of the offensive from the Sinai towards Gaza, he too was less worried about possible British reprisals than about American political and economic reactions.
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