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Israel Foreign Ministry Official Received by Assistant Secretary of State Moghee

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Mrs. Esther Herlitz, of Tel Aviv, who will head the American desk of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was received at the State Department today by George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. She was accompanied in the courtesy visit by Israel Ambassador Eliahu Elath.

Speaking at the Agudas Achim Congregation in Leominster, Mass., Ambassador Elath tonight declared that his “government is resolved to safeguard the organic connection between Israel and Jerusalem, and the lives of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, as vigorously as we defended Tel Aviv, Haifa and Negba,” Mr. Elath stressed, however, that the integration of Jerusalem in Israel was not incompatible with the establishment of an international regime charged with the protection of the Holy Places.

The Government of Israel does not believe that any fundamental clash of interests exists between the Christian world and Israel on the safeguarding of the Holy Places, the Ambassador said. He added that only about five percent of the Holy Places in Jerusalem are located in the Jewish section of the city, while nearly 95 percent are in the Old City.

He said Jerusalem was as much a part of Israel as Tel Aviv, for had been built by Israelis and inhabited by them and “drew its lifeblood” from Israel. Its integration into the life of Israel had taken place as a natural historical process arising from the conditions of war, from the vacuum created by the end of the Mandate and from the refusal of the United Nations to assume any direct administrative responsibility on the scene, the Ambassador concluded.

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