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Palestine Government Promulgates Law Which May Hamper Jewish Irrigation of Negev

An ordinance which may prevent Jews from irrigating the Negev was promulgated today by the Palestine Government.

The ordinance gives the High Commissioner the right to assume control over underground water resources in any area of Palestine and prohibits the construction of new wells or the making of substantial alteration in existing wells without special permit.

Under the new law, no person is allowed to draw water from any well in a controlled area without a special license. The ordinance was originally drafted in 1942, but was not implemented because of opposition by Jewish leaders who feared that the government might use its new powers to the detriment of Jewish colonization and introduce discrimination against Jews along the same lines as the land-acquisition laws.

The government today also announced the immigration quota for the June 15-July 14 period. The quota allots 1,500 vises to Jews and 200 to Arabs and others.