U. N. Assembly to Approve Today Continuation of Aid to Arab Refugees
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U. N. Assembly to Approve Today Continuation of Aid to Arab Refugees

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The package agreement on extension of the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, worked out by the United States and the Arab host countries for the Arab refugees probably will be approved quickly tomorrow, it was reliably reported here today.

Israel also will vote for this resolution, which will extend UNRWA’s mandate for three years but which will require a review of the program at the end of two years, it was understood. However, Israel probably will ask for a separate vote on a clause asking the dormant Palestine Conciliation Commission to take further measures to implement paragraph 11 of the 1948 United Nations resolution on the Arab refugees, it was indicated.

The new resolution also provides for review of the ration lists which are acknowledged to include at least 150,000 persons who are not eligible for UNRWA assistance, toward which the United States contributes 70 percent of operating funds. Another addition is a clause calling for intensification of self-support and vocational training for the Arab refugees as far as the financial situation permits.

The Israel delegation was understood to have made known to other UN delegations that it considers the proposal to revive the PCC and give it authority to deal with the problem of the Arab refugees a backward and harmful step. The Arab delegations have consistently interpreted paragraph 11 of the 1948 resolution as supporting their claims of the right of all Arab refugees to repatriation to Israel.

The Israel delegation continues to feel that the realistic way to deal with the problem lies in stimulating integration of the refugees in the three host countries, the United Arab Republic, Jordan and Lebanon, and by direct talks between Israel and the three Arab countries on the problem.


It was understood that many delegations agree with Israel that nothing is to be gained by reactivation of the PCC but there will not be any votes against it, other than Israel’s, because most delegations feel that any proposal acceptable to the United States, which carries the largest financial burden, should be acceptable to them.

The Israel delegation also was understood to feel that even if the PCC is unable to do any harm, reviving it would be prejudicial. The Arabs, it was explained, would take the stand that such a revival implied endorsement of the Arab demand for total repatriation. For the United States to endorse the idea, it was suggested, also seemed to imply that all that is needed to solve the complex refugee problem is to revive a dormant commission. It would also seem to imply that the United Nations had turned its back on the idea of a solution by negotiation, it was pointed out.

A reactivated PCC, it was argued, would be required to make an annual report on what it had done to achieve solution of the Arab refugee problem and this would provide another forum for Arab anti-Israel propaganda. This, it was taken for granted, would be no more constructive than the propaganda of the Arab delegates during the month of debate in the Special Political Committee on the issue.

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