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Israel Preparing to Receive 100,000 Christian Pilgrims; Negotiates with Hotels

Preparations to accommodate the approximately 100,000 Christian pilgrims expected to visit the Holy Places during the Vatican-proclaimed Holy Year in 1950 are now in full swing, Israel Government officials announced today. The government has made inquiries of all hotels and monasteries in Israel and will also construct special bungalows, the planning officials said.

From other sources come reports that the United States, France and the Vatican are exerting pressure on King Abdullah of Transjordan to admit the pilgrims to sacred sites here that are under Arab control. Abdullah has so far refused because he feels that he would also have to agree to Israel demands for access for Jews to the Wailing Wall.

The planning officials are members of a special inter-ministerial group charged with making the pilgrims’ stay as comfortable as possible.