Israel Cabinet Acts to Dispel Rumors of Expelling Arabs from Conquered Land

The Israeli Government decided today that Arab inhabitants of the west bank section will be permitted to leave the country hereafter only if they have made a written request which has been approved by a mayor or other regional authority. The action was decided on at an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet here.

An official communique on the action declared that it was taken to dispel rumors that Israel had expelled or encouraged the emigration of inhabitants from the west bank. It was announced also that Defense Minister Moshe Dayan had been instructed to discuss with International Red Cross representatives practical applications of the decision. Gen. Dayan will meet tomorrow with the representatives on the matter.

In a general policy statement, the Government also said that there now existed “new regional conditions permitting a general and immediate solution of the refugee problem” and that such a solution could be found with the aid of regional and international cooperation. The statement pledged the Government, once peace was achieved, to devote all possible efforts to find a solution to the Arab refugee problem.

The development apparently indicated that Israel has taken very seriously accusations about expulsions of Arabs and intended to do its utmost to dispel such charges. The statement also was clearly intended to show that not only was Israel not creating a new refugee problem — another repeated charge — but that, on the contrary, it was prepared to settle the older refugee problem once there was peace.

During the Cabinet meeting Premier Eshkol and Foreign Ministry officials reported on United Nations activities and on other diplomatic developments.

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