West European Nations to Begin Negotiations with Israel for War Damage Compensation

A number of West European nations will shortly begin negotiations with Israel for compensation for damage suffered by their nationals or institutions in Israel during the Palestine war, Gershon Abner, head of the West European Division of the Foreign Ministry, told a press conference here today during a review of Israel’s relations with the nations of Western Europe.

Referring to Israel’s policy vis-a-vis France, he stated that except for the Jerusalem issue, both nations wanted to see a maintenance of the status quo. He expressed the hope that in relation to Jerusalem France will modify its position when it realizes the prevailing conditions in Jerusalem.

Alluding to the recent developments between the Western powers and Germany, the Foreign Ministry official said that a decision on the Israel policy toward that nation is imminent. He expressed the opinion that as Germany becomes a sovereign nation Israel will sever all relations with it and close up its consulates there. The relations between the Jewish state and Austria are somewhat different, he added, pointing to recent trade talks between the two.

Mr. Abner sounded a rather bitter note when he discussed relations with Greece. Despite Israel’s willingness to forget Greece’s attitude in the past, he said, no improvement is currently discernable in the attitude of the Greek authorities.

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