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‘haaretz’ Reports Israel Will Permit More Than 7,000 West Bank Residents to Return Home

November 22, 1968
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The newspaper Haaretz reported today that Israel will announce shortly that it will permit the return of a substantial number of former West Bank residents beyond those covered by the 7,000 permits issued last summer but still unused. According to the newspaper. Israel will announce this move in the Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The Ministry of Interior announced Tuesday that the deadline for the 7,000 permits outstanding will be extended to Jan. 31, 1969 and that unused permits will be transferred to other refugees who apply for repatriation. The announcement was apparently in response to appeals by the United States and Great Britain in the UN for a “greatly expanded program” for the return of refugees displaced by the June, 1967 war. The 7,000 permits cover some 25,000 persons including minors.

Haaretz said that Israel will contribute $350,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Arab refugees (UNRWA) this year in addition to $70,000 granted that agency for vocational schools.

In a related development, the possibility of extending West German “development aid” to Arab refugees in Israel-occupied territories was discussed here yesterday by Foreign Minister Abba Eban and West Germany’s Minister of Transport Georg Leber. Mr. Leber arrived here on the inaugural flight of Lufthansa, West Germany’s national airline, which has established service to Frankfurt and Munich from Israel. It was suggested in the conversation that such German assistance could be extended through UNRWA. West Germany is not a member of the UN but contributes to UNRWA. Mr. Leber was Joined by Dr. Georg August Zinn, Prime Minister of the State of Hesse, and Bonn’s Ambassador to Israel, Karl Knoke, on a visit yesterday to the Yad Vashem, the memorial and archives of Nazi holocaust victims.

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