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Land Left by Palestine Arabs Cannot Be Confiscated by Israel, J.N.F. Director Warns

Dr. Abraham Granovsky, president of the Jewish National Fund, warned today at a national session of the J.N.F. against any illusions that lands left behind by Palestine Arabs who fled the country during the early months of the Arab-Israeli fighting could be confiscated by the Israeli Government. He said, however, that state lands belonging to the former Mandatory Power could be taken over by Israel.

Dr. Granovsky announced that the Jewish National Fund budget for the Hebrew year 5709 is $104,000,000, which will be used for the redemption of 1,000,000 dunams of land. He called for a “development regime” to undertake a large-scale program of land acquisition and soil amelioration which would lead to the creation of a land reserve enabling the settlement of large numbers of immigrants, and pointed out that during all of its previous 46 years the J.N.F. acquired only 1,000,000 dunams. In 5708, he stated, the organization raised $44,000,000.

The establishment of an annual “Forest Day”–to be used for the raising of funds for afforestation in mountainous regions and in areas unsuitable for agriculture–was also urged by Dr. Granovsky.