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Israel Accuses Jordan of Incitement of West Bank Arabs

Israel complained to Secretary-General U Thant today that, while its Government was “directing its efforts to alleviating the consequences of the hostilities” of the Six-Day War last June and was seeking to restore normalcy and peaceful conditions, including the return of Arab refugees to their homes in territory occupied by Israel, “the Government of Jordan is conducting a campaign of increasing violence, vituperation and direct incitement both of the prospective returnees and of the Arabs in Israel-controlled territory.”

(Radio Amman announced today that Jordan had agreed to the request of the executive committee of the World Islamic Congress to hold a meeting in Amman Friday to consolidate efforts “to rescue Islamic holy places from Zionist occupation” and to help the Arabs “remove the consequences of Israeli aggression.” The meeting is to be one of a series in the Arab world sponsored by the congress.)

The Israeli charges were contained in the Israeli reply to the Secretary-General’s request that Israel extend the August 31 deadline for the return of Arab refugees to the west bank. The Israeli Government also charged that Jordan was “applying pressure on those former residents of the west bank who had decided to stay, in order to compel them to return to the west bank against their will.”

The Israeli letter pointed out that “the attitude of Jordan had caused serious concern to the Government of Israel which takes a grave view of this attempt by Jordan to use human plight in the pursuance of its hostile political objectives.”

The letter advised Mr. Thant that Israel would “allow former west bank residents, holder of previously-issued permits, who were unable to make use of them before August 31, to return to their former homes within a fixed period of time. Arrangements to this effect are being made,” he declared.

It said further that Israel would authorize the Israeli authorities to accept applications “from residents of the west bank for the reunion of their families. Such applications will be reviewed in each case by Israel with sympathetic consideration.”

The letter also stated Israel would study individual applications “based on conditions of special hardship, and will discuss with United Nations Relief and Works Agency representatives in Israel ways by which Israel might contribute to a solution of the urgent problem arising from the adverse physical conditions in the camps now occupied by those who were previously UNRWA refugees, particularly in the Jericho camps.”

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