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800 Sick and Other Arab War Prisoners to Be Repatriated Without Exchange of Israelis

About 800 Arab war prisoners who are over or under military age or sick are being repatriated next week, without an exchange of Israeli prisoners, it was learned today at the Athlit camp, near Kaifa.

The camp, which formerly housed Jewish “illegal immigrants” under the Mandatory regime, has become a camp for Arab prisoners of war. It has 1,900 inmates. Beside Egyptians, irregulars and Trane Jordan troops, the camp also houses 75 Palestinian Arabs who were captured in the recent Galilee campaign. They declared that they are Communists and members of the Arab National Liberation League and have demanded immediate release on the ground that they helped the Israelis in the underground. Israeli officials are now weighing their release.

Authorities at the camp said that frequent quarrels and even fights break out between Egyptians and Transjordanians and between Transjordanians and Syrians, over political issues. The prisoners are well treated and receive gift-parcels and copies of the Koran, from the Red Mogen David. Only two attempts have been made to escape and both were foiled. Athlit is one of five PW camps in Israel.