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U.S. Would Oppose Plans for Increasing Israel’s Territory. State Department Says

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A State Department spokesman today confirmed that the U.S. Government does not favor the “Gaza Plan” allegedly submitted by the Israeli delegation to the United Nations Conciliation Commission at Lausanne.He emphasized that this does not represent any change in the policy of the American Government with regard to the Palestine problem.

The U.S. policy, he said, has always been that if Israel wanted additional territory beyond that awarded by the U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, it should receive it on the basis of compensation. The “Gaza Plan” allegedly suggests the transfer of the Egyptian-held Gaza coastal strip to Israel along with its population of Arab residents and refugees.

At a State Department press conference today comment was refused on whether the U.S. Government sent a note to Israel in the past few days requesting that the Jewish state accept a reported 800,000 Arab refugees who fled Palestine during the Arab-Israeli fighting. A report that such a note was sent during the week-end appeared in the New York press. However, the Israeli Government yesterday denied having received any such request. Israeli officials here today emphasized that to their knowledge no such note had been received at the Israeli Embassy.

Indications here point to the fact that unless President Truman intervenes again, pro-Arab officials in the State Department will attempt to bring about a solution of the Arab-Israeli peace talks at Lausanne unfavorable to the Israeli cause. It is noted that these pro-Arab officials in the Near Eastern division of the State Department are slowly regaining the initiative in formulating U.S. policy in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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