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Eshkol Rejects Proposal to Set Up Pilot Project to Resettle Arab Refugees

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol today categorically rejected proposals in the Knesset (Parliament) that Israel set up a pilot project to resettle Arab refugees in the territories it controls. Mr. Eshkol said that Israel has no money for such a project and warned that Arab refugees cannot in any event be resettled in Israel where they would become “a time bomb likely to explode at any time.”

The proposals, submitted in the form of agenda motions by Knesset members representing parties in the national coalition Government, noted that most of the area’s refugee population is now in areas controlled by Israel and said that Israel could show other countries how resettlement should be carried out. Mr. Eshkol said that the refugees could be resettled in the general region of the Middle East where there is sufficient land and water for them, but the project would require international financing and regional cooperation.