Israel Outlines for U.N. the Conditions and Extent of Readmission of Arab Refugees

The Israeli mission to the United Nations today informed the U.N. to what extent and under what conditions Israel will permit the return of former Arab residents of its territory who fled their homes. The answer was in the form of a letter submitted to U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte by Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok.

Shertok said that the conditions under which the refugees will be permitted to return and the number readmitted to Israeli territory will depend on: 1. The long term interests of the Jewish and Arab populations; 2. The stability of the state of Israel, and the durability of the peace between it and its Arab neighbors; 3. The actual position and fate of the Jewish minorities in the Arab countries; 4. The responsibility of the Arab governments for their war of aggression; and 5. Their liability for reparations.

“For such a comprehensive and lasting peace settlement,” Shertok’s letter said, “the Provisional Government of Israel is ever ready, but holds that it cannot in fairness be required to carry through a unilateral and piecemeal measure of peace while the other side is bent on war.” The letter also outlined political, economic and security reasons on the basis of which the Israeli Government “is not in a position; as long as a state of war exists, to readmit Arabs who fled their homes, on any substantial scale.”

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