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U.S. Relaxing Opposition to out off Rations from Anti-israel Army

January 3, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Washington Post today reported that the United States Government has “quietly and queasily relaxed its pressure on the United Nations to cut off rations to refugees serving in the Palestine Liberation Army, whose stated aims are to destroy Israel and overthrow Jordan’s King Hussein.

Behind the new American attitude, said the Post, is “a little noted deal announced during the fall by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency which for 17 years has cared for Palestinians who fled their homes in what now is Israel.” UNRWA’s chief, Laurence Michelmore, took notice then of American complaints that his agency was subsidizing the PLA. These complaints figured in Congress’s decision to cut the U.S. contribution 5 percent in each of the last two years — down to $22,200,000 in cash and commodities out of the 1967 UNRWA budget of $39,300,000.

“In light of these differences,” said Michelmore, “arrangements have been made for special added donations to the amount of $150,000 which meets the total cost of any rations consumed by the young men (PLA soldiers) in question. Contributors to UNRWA…may thus be assured that their contributions will not be used to furnish assistance to refugees receiving military training” by the PLA, he said.

The “special added donations” were said to come from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. The U.S. Government confined its official reaction to a statement that “we believe the General Assembly should not give the impression that it condones or regards with indifference the involvement of a U.N. agency with an organization (PLA) which avows such purposes” (to attack Israel by armed force).

The Washington Post said that “privately, American officials acknowledge that the added donations in effect formalize U.N. relief to the PLA. The difficulty, they say, is that UNRWA is a pauperized U.N. stepchild which lacks the political clout to prevent the host Arab countries, or the Palestinians who administer the rations, or the refugees themselves, from diverting rations to the PLA.” The Post estimated that 12,000 PLA troops are in the Gaza Strip and others in Syria.

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