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41 Americans Seized on U.S. Vessel by Lebanese to Be Released in Two Weeks

Forty-one American citizens forcibly removed from the American vessel Marine Corp last month and detained by the Lebanese Government under charges of seeking to enter Israel to fight will be returned to the United States aboard the same ship June 27, it was officially announced here today. No decision has yet been reached on the fate of 23 Palestinian Jews also removed from the Marine Carp at the same time.

The detainees have been living in musty, dilapidated French army barracks which had been unused since 1944, in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, 45 miles from Beirut. Confined in the same buildings, surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by a handful of armed sentries, are 30 Lebanese Jews and 30 “Communists” previously interned by the Lebanese. The Americans no longer seem disgruntled and morose. The food allowance was recently increased to the equivalent of 80 cents a day.

Crammed together 30 to a room, with cots barely three feet apart, the detainees have little room for exercise and are no permitted to go outside, Their only relaxation is reading a. few dog-eared books, or talking with the Lebanese Jews. They maintain their own discipline, plan meals, and care for the quarters. The sanitary facilities are limited but clean, with two lavatories for 130 men. The detainees took their first shower Friday. Three cases of measles were treated and three U.S. physicians from the American University at Beirut have since given them medical care.

Among the internees are Eli Kalmanowitz of New York, Benjamin de Roy of Barkley, California, and Robert Kells of Boston, as well as Rabbi Usher Halpern, a Polish Jew who has been studying in the United States.

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