UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Aug. 20)
Arab-Israel tension was the only major item discussed this year by the United Nations Security Council, it was indicated here today, following a closed meeting of the Council at which its annual report to the UN General Assembly was adopted unanimously.
The Assembly, which starts its session on September 15, will go into lengthy discussion on the Arab refugee problem, as seen from the detailed Assembly’s agenda issued here today. The problem is expected to draw special interest at this year’s session because of the fact that the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East expires on June 30, 1960.
Efforts to evolve a new plan for Arab refugee care were made at the session of the Assembly last year, but were sidetracked because the Arab States refused to accept any formula that did not provide for outright “repatriation” of the refugees to Israel. This year, however, some plan of operation must be evolved if the refugees are not to be left stranded after next June 30.
The principal bone of contention at this year’s Assembly will be the plan for resettlement of the refugees in the Middle East, and their integration into the region’s economy, presented recently by Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. That plan proposes a five-year economic development program for the region, involving expenditures ranging from $1,500,000,000 to $2,000,000,000 by non-Arab States.
Officially, the Arab League is opposed to the Hammarskjold plan. Actually, it is known here, some of the Arab countries, particularly Lebanon and, to some extent Jordan, and possibly Iraq, favor the use of the Hammarskjold plan as a stepping stone toward evolution of some other constructive proposals.
In the refugee debate, which will be staged in one of the Assembly’s major committees, Israel is certain to be subjected to violent attacks by Arab delegates. Israel is already on record as having offered to pay compensation to Arab refugees, with the help of international financing, providing the Arab states accept certain conditions as to integration of the refugees into Arab economies.
Affecting the Israel-Arab issue directly will also be an agenda item concerning further financing of the United Nations Emergency Force.