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Thant’s Reports ‘incomplete’ on Alleged Refugee Policy

A spokesman for Secretary-General U Thant said today that Mr. Thant had “Incomplete and unverified” reports about alleged Israeli attempts to induce refugees in the Gaza Strip to go to Jordan. At a press briefing, a spokesman was asked about the situation in light of a report in the New York Times today that the military government in Gaza was paying each Arab family agreeing to leave 50 Israel pounds, or $14, to cover travel expenses to Amman.

The spokesman said that under present circumstances, the Secretary-General could not verify the situation of the refugees. He said that if there had been agreement among the parties involved on sending a special representative of Mr. Thant, who would go to the Middle East under the authority of humanitarian resolutions, the situation of civilians in the war zone could be investigated. Agreement had not been possible, he said, adding that the situation would have been much better if a special representative had been appointed.

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