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Israel Embarks on Campaign to Arouse World Opinion on Mistreatment of Israeli Pow’s

Israel embarked yesterday on a campaign to arouse world-wide public opinion to protest the mistreatment of Israeli prisoners-of-war in Arab hands and to effect an exchange of Israeli and Arab prisoners. Sixteen Israelis are held by the Arabs. One, abducted by terrorists, is held by Jordan. Three, all pilots, are held by Syria. The remainder, including two civilian canteen workers, are held by Egypt. Israel holds 117 Arabs from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon as POWs. Israel complains her soldiers are being held prisoner under “inhuman conditions,” are deprived of “adequate” medical treatment, are not permitted to be visited by representatives of the International Red Cross and are not permitted to correspond with their families, all in violation of the terms of the Geneva Convention dealing with POWs. An offer to exchange the 117 Arab prisoners for the 16 Israelis was rejected by the Arab governments, according to an Israeli spokesman, because the Arabs are willing to have their soldiers remain prisoners since they know they will be treated according to the terms of the convention. If a prisoner exchange cannot be effected, the spokesman said, “at least we can try to improve their conditions.”

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