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Mixed Armistice Body Charges Israel with Armistice Violation in Expelling 200 Arabs

Israel violated the armistice with Transjordan by expelling across the armistice lines 200 Arab civilians from the Israel-occupied village of Wadi Fukin, west of Bethlehem, on July 15, it was ruled today by the mixed Israel-Transjordan armistice commission here.

The Arabs should be allowed to return to their homes within one week, the Commission ordered, according to a joint communique released after a seven-hour conference. The decision was reached by a majority vote, with the U.N. chairman of the group, Col. A. Coverdale, an American, casting his ballot with the Arabs against the Israelis.

The Israel delegation to the commission said the Jewish state will not be bound by any point of the decision, which instructed Israel as to what action to take within her own borders. The Israel representatives consider such instructions outside the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Israel contends that the expelled Arabs infiltrated into the new state after the establishment of the armistice. The Israelis state that the decision to expel the Arabs was agreed to by both Arab and Israel commanders in the Wadi Fukin area in the presence of U.N. observers.