Israel Donates $333,000 for UN Arab Refugee Aid; Eban Sees U Thant

Israel announced today that she will contribute 1 million Israeli pounds ($333,000) to the United Nations Work and Relief Agency for Palestine refugees to “alleviate the plight” of Arab refugees in Israel-occupied territory.

The contribution is not the first but the most substantial Israeli donation to UNRWA to date, was disclosed following a meeting this afternoon of Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Ambassador Gideon Rafael with U.N. Secretary-General U Thant. A note advising Mr. Thant of Israel’s decision to contribute toward the refugee relief fund, in response to the Secretary-General’s appeal to all nations last July 10, was handed to him by Mr. Rafael, Israel’s permanent representative in the U.N. Israel today is, for the first time, a host country to Arab refugees.

Mr. Eban and Mr. Thant were reported to have discussed the latest developments in the Middle Eastern situation, with special reference to the consultations now going on among the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council. It was learned also that Mr. Eban met over the week-end with Security Council president Senjin Tsuruoka, of Japan, and with the representatives of Britain France, Argentina, Brazil and Denmark.

Following his meeting today with U Thant, Ambassador Eban told newsmen that Israel has not changed its position with regard to direct negotiations with the Arabs. Asked about Israel’s attitude toward the proposed dispatch of a special representative of the Secretary-General to the Middle East, the Foreign Minister replied that it would depend upon his terms of reference and whether they would prejudice Israel’s position.

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