LAUSANNE (Jun. 14)
The failure of the Arab-Israeli peace talks here to take any progress after seven weeks of negotiations was today laid by competent observers to British manipulations aimed at gaining military advantages in Southern Palestine.
By now it is clear that Britain is seeking to secure the Gaza coastal strip for Transjordan, in order to have a part on the shores of the Mediterranean and carry out its oft-planned project of turning a part of the Negev into an important British air and army base in the Middle East. Since Transjordan is dependent on British cash, arms and troops, its securing of the Gaza coastal strip is tantamount to putting this area under British control.
The Israeli delegation here is, of course, determined to prevent the return of British troops to Palestine. It points out that Transjordan has no means to turn the small fishing harbor of Gaza into a commercial port without the aid of Britain. However, the Transjordan Government asserts that the Gaza coastal strip is an integral part of Arab Palestine which King Abdullah of Transjordan hopes to merge with his country and thus have a direct outlet to the Mediterranean.
Egypt, which now controls the Gaza area, was originally inclined to favor the “Gaza Plan” under which the Israeli Government offered to accept Arabs living or taking refuse in that area, provided the territory is ceded to the Jewish state. However, later, under pressure from Trans Jordan, Egypt began to oppose the “Gaza Plan,”
ARAB REFUGEE PROBLEM MAY NOT BE SOLVED IN LAUSANNE BEFORE WINTER
A spokesman here today said that unless the Arab states and Israel agree among themselves to settle the Arab refugee problem, there is no longer any prospect of a solution based on the recommendations of the United Nations Conciliation Commission before next winter.
The Commission intends to await the report of a three-man committee of exports which is ready to leave for the Middle East the end of this week. A spokesman of this committee said that their fact-finding report on the refugee situation could be in hand by the middle of September if they should receive full cooperation from all local authorities.
It will be only after the receipt of technical and statistical information which the three experts are to gather, checking the facts for accuracy, that the full Commission would make its own definitive recommendations. On the existent time schedule, therefore, the earliest possible date for the Commission’s ultimate word on the refugees would be next October, if an agreement of the Arabs and Jews is not sought.