Doubt Expressed That Libyan Government Will Permit 150 Libyan Jews Early Departure

Samuel L. Haber, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, expressed doubt today about reports that the revolutionary Libyan regime would permit the early departure of 150 Libyan Jews who returned to Libys to claim abandoned property and were “caught” during the coup which deposed King Idris last September. The reports emerged after the regime announced on Tripoli Radio yesterday that It was confiscating the property of the 150 Jews and that of 40,000 Italians. The government said that the Italians would receive neither compensation nor Job opportunities but that the Jews would be compensated with government bonds payable over 15 years. The decree made no reference to employment for the 150 Jews. Cot. Muammar Al-Qaddafl. the Libyan leader, charged that the Italians stole their property from Libyans during the “fascist” occupation of Libya. Substantial Jewish holdings were abandoned when most Libyan Jews migrated to Israel in 1948 when the Jewish State was proclaimed. That property was later seized by King Idris. In June 1967, 4,000 Jews emigrated to Italy. Mr. Haber said. Noting that the 150 Jews had not been able to leave easily, he expressed the hope that they would be allowed to do so.

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