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Arabs Reject Israel’s Offer to Settle Refugee Problem; Eban Renews Plea

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Israel today reiterated the offer it made to the United Nations last Monday of paying compensation to the Arab refugees even before a political settlement is achieved between Israel and the Arab states.

After Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen rejected Israel’s compensation offer, Abba Eban, chairman of the Israel delegation, took the floor again today on the subject of refugee compensation in an evident desire to drive home the feeling that Israel’s offer was absolutely serious and valid and not merely a propaganda move.

Mr. Eban pleaded with the Arab governments to give thoughtful consideration to the implementation “of a regional integration plan in which Israel will play its full share.”

“It is our belief,” said Mr. Eban, “that there is value in the proposal we have made here–not only intrinsic value but also as a challenge, the challenge of movement versus immobility.”

(The major Jordanian dailies gave front page space today to reports of Mr. Eban’s proposals in the United Nations for the settlement of the Arab refugee problem. Most Jordanian newspapers quoted verbatim large sections of Ambassador Eban’s proposal that Israel was prepared to pay compensation outside the framework of a peace plan, if the refugees would be resettled in the lands where they are now encamped.)

In the first part of a long speech, Mr. Eban dealt very sharply with the criticisms of his plan delivered by Ahmed Shukairi, Saudi Arabian representative. Later Mr. Eban told the Assembly that he knows there is a good deal of interest in the Arab Middle East in the plan he proposed. He declared that Jordanian newspapers have been discussing Israel’s new compensation plan.

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