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Israel Denies Jordanian Charge That Gaza Refugees Are Being Forced to Leave

The Israel Foreign Ministry emphatically denied today Jordanian charges that the Israeli authorities are forcing residents of the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip to leave Israel-held territory. The denial was made in response to queries from United Nations Secretary-General U Thant after Jordan had accused Israel of a “sinister plan” to ship 50,000 Arabs from the Gaza Strip to Jordan.

Israeli sources charged that the whole episode had been cooked up by the Jordanians as a pretext to deny admission to visitors from the Gaza Strip for fear that they would want to remain in Jordan and not return to the Israel-held territory. The Foreign Ministry said that the Israelis are not forcing any residents of the Gaza Strip to leave the area. It was reported yesterday that for two successive days Arab refugees from the Strip were turned back when they tried to emigrate to the East Bank of the Jordan River.