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UN Committee Will Probe Alleged Rights Violations in Mideast Beginning Aug. 9

The special committee set up by the United Nations Human Rights Commission to investigate alleged violations of human rights of Arabs in Israeli-held territories will begin a series of visits to Arab capitals on Aug. 9, the UN announced today.

The six-member committee left tonight for Geneva, where it will remain from Aug. 1 to Aug. 9 to hear witnesses on conditions in southern Africa. The UN set up two committees, one for the Middle East and one for Africa, both with the same membership. The group will be in Beirut Aug. 11-12; in Damascus on Aug. 13-14; in Amman on Aug. 16-18 and in Cairo, Aug. 20-23.

UN officials said that, in response to inquiries from the committee, the Governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt promised full cooperation. Israel said in its reply that it was unable to consider the resolution of the Human Rights Commission, on which the committee’s mandate was based, as constituting a basis for Israeli cooperation with the committee. Israel previously said that it would cooperate with the committee, if it agreed to investigate Israeli complaints of mistreatment of Jews in the Arab countries.

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