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U.N. Mediator Objects to Shertok’s Stand on Readmission of Arab Refugees to Israel

U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, in a cable to Secretary General Trygve Lie tonight took exception to the Israeli stand against the immediate return of Arab refugees to Jewish territory. Bernadotte said notwithstanding the Israeli arguments against the mass return of the Arabs, he affirms the right of the refugees to their return at the earliest practicable date. He made the following three proposals in connection with his stand:

1. A limited number of Arabs wishing to return should be accepted as a principle beginning August 15, especially those who fled from the Jewish-controlled cities of Haifa and Jaffa.

2. A distinction should be made between Arabs of military age and all other Arabs in consideration of the security problem facing Israel.

3. The mediator should proceed to enlist all international and other agencies in the help of resettling the returned Arabs and aiding them in their economic and social rehabilitations.

Bernadotte said he fully appreciate dht Jewish misgivings about his program on security grounds. But he pointed out that these misgivings must be evaluated in light of the indefinite nature of the truce established in Palestine, thus rendering “slight” the danger to Israel from the returned Arabs. He revealed that he was already proceeding with his survey of international agencies he hopes to enlist in his project and expects to submit a report on his findings soon.

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