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Israel Ready to Admit Wives and Children of Arab Refugees; Notifies Arab Countries

The Lebanese Government was the first Arab state today to accept a proposal made by the Government of Israel for the return of displaced wives and children of Arabs now in the Jewish state. Similar proposals have been made by Israel to the governments of Egypt and Transjordan, it was revealed last night in an official announcement here.

The announcement said that the Israeli Government had appealed through the armistice commissions to the three Arab governments “asking their cooperation to facilitate the speedy return of the wives and children of Arab citizens, who will obtain a permit to enter Israel.”

The statement said that Arab citizens in Israel could apply for entry permits for their relatives. Such applications would be accepted by district commissioners in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Lydda and Ramleh, as well as by military governors in each of these zones. Entry permits would be granted only to wives and children under 15 years of age.

The estimated number of persons likely to be involved was not disclosed, but it was believed to be between 10,000 and 15,000. “The Israeli Government is still studying an overall solution to the problem of Arab refugees within the framework of the general peace settlements,” the announcement added.

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