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Israeli-catholic Church Commission Starts Assessing War Damage to Church Property

A special mixed commission including representatives of the Catholic Church and the Israeli Government will proceed tomorrow to the Mt. Zion area of the Old City to assess the amount of damage done to Church property during the war, it was announced here today.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Army today returned to the Order of Franciscan Sisters the Italian St. Antonio Convent, which is located in the new city. The mixed commission assignment resulted from the opening of negotiations between the Israeli Ministry of Religion and Msgr. Thomas J. MacMahon, special Vatican representative.

United Nations headquarters here deny press reports that the Conciliation Commission has come to the conclusion that partition represents the only possible solution for the Jerusalem problem. Instead, U.N. sources continue to attempt to drive home the doctrine that “internationalization is the most practical solution.” Partition, they say, raises almost “insurmountable” difficulties such as the fate of Arab property in Jewish Jerusalem and the economic weakness of the Old City.