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Appeasement of Arabs May Affect Palestine Truce, Israeli Minister in Washington Warns

Eliahu Epstein, Minister of the Provisional Government of Israel, told a press conference here today that “public opinion” in Israel would reject the U.N. truce if it is “administered in such a way as to appease the Arab aggressors and discriminate against the Jewish defenders.”

Reading a prepared statement, Epstein said that the U.K. mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte “unquestionably exceeded the authority given to him by the Security Council when he laid down a series of unauthorized restrictions on the immigration to Israel of men of military age. “In the interests of peace, Israel accepted these restrictions just as it has cooperated in every other effort of the United Nations to settle existing differences amicably. But if the truce terms are administered in such a way as to appease the Arab aggressors and discriminate against the Jewish defenders, there can be no doubt that public opinion in Israel will reject the truce. The people of Israel have given too much of their blood and substance, now to be denied the right to bring to Israel their homeless brethren in the DP camps of Europe and Cyprus,” he said.

The statement further emphasized that the state of Israel accepts the truce ##aly as a peaceful period during which the United Nations solution (the Nov. 29 partition resolution) is implemented.” The statement ruled out use of the truce period “as a means of imposing so-called ‘new solutions. ‘”

Questioned about a statement by British Foreign Minister E#### Devin that Great Britain could not recognize Israel until the boundaries were set, Epstein replied emphatically that the boundaries of the state of Israel had been set by the Nov. 29 resolution and there was no basis for reopening the question.

He repudiated a statement made by Bevin in the House of Commons two days ago implying that the Jews had opened the attacks on the Holy Places of Jerusalem. The Israeli Government, he said, would welcome a neutral committee to study the situation in Jerusalem and establish guilt for desecration of the Holy Places.

He also denied reports that persons holding American and other foreign passports traveling in Israel are unable to leave because they cannot get exit permits. Everyone holding foreign passport is free to leave Israel, he said. The government only restricts the movements of its own citizens, he added.