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Compensation for Property Left Behind by Jews from Arab Countries Part of Final Peace Settlement

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said today that Israel will demand full compensation for the property left behind by Jews from Arab countries when they were forced to emigrate after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. A statement issued by the committee said the compensation for Jewish property would have to be part of any final peace settlement with the Arabs.

It was pointed out that Jews lived in Arab countries for centuries but large numbers of them were driven out after Israel’s independence and their property was either abandoned or seized by the Arab authorities.

The number of Jews who fled Arab countries for Israel after the 1948 war is roughly similar to the number of Arabs who left the territory that is now Israel. What took place at that time was actually an exchange of populations, the Knesset committee said. But whereas Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees and granted them full citizenship rights, the Arab countries have not done the same for their Palestinian brethren, the statement pointed out.