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Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Fight with Arabs; U.N. Commission Investigates

Three Israeli soldiers were killed today in a clash between an Israeli border patrol, and a group of armed Arabs ploughing Jewish fields near Kiryat Anavim. The Israeli patrol surprised the armed Arabs who crossed into Israeli territory under cover of Arab military forces and began to plough the land inside Israel.

The battle lasted several hours. The Arabs, who were finally driven off the land, suffered heavy casualties. The Israeli authorities submitted this afternoon a strongly worded protest to the Israel-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission, and the Commission sent special investigators to the scene of the incident.

Israeli authorities also filed a complaint with the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission over a border incident on Tuesday which resulted in the slaying of an Israeli soldier. The incident occurred when Arab shepherds from the Jordan-held “triangle” area in central Palestine, crossed into Israeli territory. Israel troops, attempting to expel them, were fired upon by Jordan national guardsmen who crossed the frontier.

The Arab newspaper Falastin, published in the Jordan-held part of Jerusalem, reports today that Israeli guards at Mt. Scopus fired on Arabs who were grazing flocks on the grounds of the Hebrew University. Israeli sources emphasize that the shots were fired after the shepherds disregarded the warnings given to them previously.

Twenty-four complaints were struck from the agenda of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistico Commission at a five-hour meeting earlier this week. The Commission reaffirmed a decision that nobody will reside or work in the Latrun no-man’s-land without the agreement of both parties.

The Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission held a four hour informal meeting today on one of the border settlements in the presence of Major Gon. William Riley, chief of the U.N. staff in Palestine. Gon. Riley reported at the meeting on the contacts he made with the Arabs who own the seven acres of land in the demilitarized zone of the Huleh area. Under a decision of the U.N. Security Council, Israel cannot conduct the drainage of the swamps in these seven acres without the consent of the Arab owners.

(John B. Blandford, newly appointed director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, said yesterday that a “bold and dramatic” program to resettle Arab refugees in the Near East will get under way July 1. At a press conference at U.N. head quarters here, the new director declared the objective of the plan is to move the refugees from camps into permanent homes and to make them self-supporting.)

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