Michelmore Reports on Refugee Situation Two Years Late

The Israeli Mission reemphasized today that Foreign Minister Abba Eban had proposed an international conference on the refugee problem two years ago but that “the Arab states have rejected this proposal.” The statement came in response to a Sept. 30 report to Secretary General U Thant by Laurence Michelmore, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Mr. Michelmore, who is supervising relief operations in Jordan, noted that “in the Jericho area there are thousands of empty shelters, together with schools, health centers, food distribution centers and other installations, which are unused. He said that “If Palestine refugees who moved to the East Bank in 1967 could return to their homes, as called for by the General Assembly and Security Council in numerous resolutions, the situation on the East Bank would be greatly eased and the humanitarian distress dramatically reduced.”

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