Britain Decrees Economic Sanctions Against Israel; Holds Up $4,000,000 Payment

The British Government has decreed its first economic sanction against Israel, it was learned here today. Israeli banking authorities in London have been notified that the current release of a million pounds sterling–about four million dollars–from Palestine’s frozen sterling balance has not been authorized by the Treasury.

This sterling release was being used mainly for the payment for Israel’s food purchases abroad. No official reason has been given for the Treasury’s action, but a connection with events at the U.N. session here and in southern Palestine is not denied.

At a General Zionist reception here last night Jorge Garcia Granados, Guatemalan delegate to the U.N. and former member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, bitterly criticized British policy in Palestine and said that there would have been no fighting in Palestine except that “a government forgot its own pledges.” The White Paper is a “shame not only for Britain, but for humanity,” he said.

He charged the British made their acceptance of the U.N. decision conditional upon Jewish-Arab agreement, while at the same time it pressed the Arabs to reject the decision. He added that the British then sabotaged the U.N. decision by “opening the doors of Palestine to the invaders.” He objected to the Bernadette plan because it would give more territory to Transjordan, an under-populated country which has been unable thus for to develop its own territory. Enrique Munoz, Guatemalan Foreign Minister; L.J. Albornez, president of the Spanish Republican government-in-exile, and Dr. Moises Toff, Latin American Under Secretary in the Israeli Foreign Office, also spoke at the reception.

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