Israel Presents Its Territorial Demands to U.N. Body; Wants Assembly to Debate Issue
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Israel Presents Its Territorial Demands to U.N. Body; Wants Assembly to Debate Issue

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Reuven Shiloah, chief of the Israel delegation, told the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine today that the Tel Aviv government wants the whole Palestine question debated by the United Nations General Assembly, which opens its session in three weeks.

Mr. Shiloah said that his government had agreed that the frontier issue in particular should be debated and that the Arab states, the British and United States Governments and “all other interested parties” should be “compelled” to state their territorial demands and plans for Israel. Hitherto, Israel has shown a strong disinclination to have these questions brought before the Assembly.

Israel’s formal reply to the Commission’s questionnaire regarding frontiers and refugees was handed to the Commission today by Mr. Shiloah. The reply, a three-page document compared with the 20-page Arab reply, restates the case for retention of the entire area at present occupied by the Israel Army and covered by the armistice agreements with Egypt, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Israel’s reply also states that it does not want the transfer to Israel of any territory belonging to any of the Arab states nor does it require the withdrawal of Arab forces from any territory occupied at present. The reply does not mention the Gaza Coastal strip. It also adds that Israel, like the Arabs, is prepared to enter into negotiations on all matters of detail — a tiny ray of hope which, in the Commission’s view, emerges from both the Israel and Arab replies.

Regarding refugees, Israel repeats its previous offer to accept 100,000 Arabs but only as part of an overall settlement of the refugee question. In reply to the Commission’s insistence that repatriated refugees should become full citizens, the Israel response is that there is no parallel mention that those resettled in Syria or Transjordan will become full citizens of those countries.

The answer further states that Israel will cooperate fully with the Commission’s economic survey group, but reserves the right to refuse to implement any of its recommendations. The Israel Government insists that it is a question of security. It also claims financial support from international funds on the same basis as Arab states will benefit for the settlement of Arab refugees. It also wants this aid extended to Jewish refugees from Arab Palestine.

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