JERUSALEM (Jan. 17)
Israel will counter the claims for lost property by Arab refugees who fled Israel with similar claims by Jews who have come to Israel from the Arab states, Justice Minister Yaacov Shimshon Shapiro said today. He announced that his Ministry was prepared to register the claims of Jews from Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Yemen for the property they left behind, in preparation for an eventual peace settlement.
The final claims of Jews who came to Israel and Arabs who left Israel will be balanced on the basis of “property,” not “refugee vs. refugee,” Shapiro told the Labor Alignment Knesset faction. He said Israel did not consider Jewish arrivals from Arab states to be refugees as the Arab governments classify Arabs who left Israel. The Knesset is in the process of voting on an amendment to the absentee property law which will compensate East Jerusalem Arabs for property left behind in Israel. The measure passed its first reading last week.