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U.N. Body Reports on Funds Released by Israel for Arab Refugees

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Israel has released Arab refugee bank accounts previously blocked in Israel valued at 2,781,164 British pounds sterling (about $7, 800, 000), according to a report filed here today with the United Nations General Assembly by the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine.

At the same time, the Commission reported that it has compiled records of 450, 000 parcels of Israel land for which Arabs claim ownership and is now in process of determining the monetary value of each parcel.

The Commission has been engaged in these tasks since 1952. In the report today, the Commission made it clear that its work of identification and valuation of Arab refugees’ land “constitutes a prerequisite for any settlement with regard to the right of individuals to their immovable property.” However, the Commission added, its work does not “lay down a basis for overall settlement of the Arab refugee problem. “

The Commission reported, concerning Arab bank accounts previously blocked in Israel, that the 2, 781,164 pounds worth of assets have for the greater part not yet been claimed by the owners. The Commission has advertised in refugee camps calling on the owners to claim their money. The accounts released to date by Israel include only deposits in Palestine branches of Barclay’s Bank.

The Commission reported that Israel has also released, as it had promised safe deposit and safe custody items owned by Arab refugees. These items are now in custody in Arab countries. But, the Commission added, “It should be noted that very few applications have been received” from Arab refugee claimants for these valuables.”

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