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Israel and Arab States Agree on U.N. Plan to Release Refugee Funds

After long and complex negotiations–most of them involving technicalities–four Arab Governments and Israel have agreed on a United Nations plan whereby Israel will release an additional $700, 000 of cash deposited in small Israeli banks by Arab refugees, it was learned here today.

The monies are part of cash deposits left in Israel by the Arab refugees, covered in an agreement made in 1953 between Israel and the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission. Under the 1953 pact for the unfreezing of Arab refugee accounts, to which Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan agreed with the PCC for the refugees’ acceptance of the funds, Israel released $8, 400, 000 on deposit in Barclays Bank in Israel and in the Ottomon Bank. However, there were additional Arab refugee deposits still frozen in smaller Israeli banks. It is this additional sum, amounting to $700,000, that Israel has now unfrozen.

At the same time, it was learned today that Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, the PCC’s special envoy charged with trying to ease the disagreements between the Arab states and Israel regarding the general Arab refugee problem, will return here this week, after five weeks of discussions he held in the Middle East with the leaders of all the governments concerned.

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