TEL AVIV (Jul. 31)
Beginning tomorrow, Arab residents of Israel will be able to file applications for the return of close members of close members of their families who are now refugees in the neighboring Arab states, it was officially announced here today.
Special offices will begin operating in key centers throughout the country to consider these applications, the announcement said, adding that stations will be set up on the Israeli borders with Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Transjordan to handle returning refugees. The applications will be valid for wives, minor children and unmarried daughters of all ages of Arab residents.
An official spokesman today declared that Israel’s position on the refugee question as set forth to the U.N. Conciliation Commission last May 5 is still unchanged. He was commenting on a report from Lausanne in the New York press that Israel has agreed to accept 100,000 refugees.
The spokesman pointed out that in a recent speech to the Knesset, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett again emphasized that Israel will only discuss the repatriation of the refugees within the framework of a general peace. The spokesman also intimated that the Arabs at Lausanne are showing a more realistic approach to the problem.