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Israeli Government Announces It Will Oppose All Attempts to Give Negev to Arabs

In its first official reaction to the Bernadotte recommendations for the future of Palestine, the Israeli Government tonight announced that it would oppose all efforts to exclude the Negev from Israeli territory.

In addition, the government laid claim to the inclusion of Jerusalem within Israel, stressing the need for an unbroken territorial link between Jerusalem and Israel, which would rule out the return of Lydda and Ramleh to the Arabs, Further, the Israeli Government insisted that Haifa must remain an integral part of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.

A spokesman for the Foreign Minister stressed that Israel wants boundaries fixed by formal agreement among the contending parties, and pending that. Israel considers that the November 29 U.N. delimitation would remain valid although strongly in need of certain improvements in the light of events since then.”

The Foreign Ministry statement criticized the failure of the mediator to consider Jewish defense and immigration needs in proposing boundary changes, asserting that “among the principles put forward as governing the delimitation of boundaries (by Bernadotte), we miss those of defense in the light of dangers we have had to face and ward off, unaided, and the needs of development for the absorption of large-scale immigration.

Discussing the proposals for establishment of a Palestine conciliation commission, the statement warned that if such a body is appointed its duties should be limited to smoothing out difficulties and fostering friendly relations between Israel and its neighbors. “They should not extend to anything which is tantamount to an infringement of the normal sovereign rights enjoyed by Israel as by any other independent states.”

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