POSITION WITH REGARD TO THE UNBLOCKING OF ARAB ASSETS*
(Working paper prepared by the Secretariat)
A. The Arab General Refugee Congress, through Mr. Bulos:
c) In reply Mr. Bulos stated that the British banks had been approached more than once in the past twelve months, and were unable to do anything in the matter. He therefore suggested that the Commission request the views of the British Government on the question (document ORG/24 para. 2).
The Commission is studying this proposal and has not yet given an official reply.
B. The Jaffa and District Inhabitants Committee, having given an estimate of blocked assets, stated that
(b) secondly, by making a concrete proposal, (document IS/31, par. 2) as follows;
“…As regards the question of releasing frozen deposits for payment to Arabs resident abroad, my Government desires to know whether the Governments of the Arab States would grant reciprocity. There is a considerable number of Arabs in Israel who own deposits in the banks of the neighbouring Arab States. My Government would be glad to know whether these States would be ready to allow the release and transfer of such deposits to persons in Israel if the Government of Israel agreed to release and transfer Arab deposits in Israel to persons in the Arab States. If the Arab Governments should be willing to allow this, clearing arrangements would become possible and would go a long way towards solving the currency problem. The question affects particularly those Arabs now in Israel who have deposits with the Arab bank and the Al-Umma bank, both of which institutions, as far as my Government is aware, transferred their funds to Egypt before the end of the mandatory regime.”
(c) Mention should also be made of a proposal by the Israeli Delegation concerning the possible use of blocked Arab funds by relief agencies for refugees within Israel, in order to free other funds of those agencies which could be used to assist refugees outside Israel, (Com.Gen/SR.15). Subsequently, Mr. Hirsch said that this proposal was reserved for the future.
The first point to be settled is to ascertain who are the parties concerned.
One may regard as interested parties in connection with these unblocking measures, persons owning accounts who are:
A. The setting-up of, an ad hoc committee of experts, without political responsibility, which would:
B. If, on the other hand, the Commission decided to appoint special committees, the problem of unblocking, the assets might be submitted to the economic committee.
9. It would be desirable before setting up any committee of experts, or entrusting the task to an economic committee, to obtain beforehand certain information concerning:
gold in bars or minted;
Securities: shares, debentures, acknowledgements of debts, receipts for deposits, treasury bonds, miscellaneous securities;
currency, local and foreign (dollars, pounds sterling, Swiss francs).
I. Israeli proposal concerning the unblocking of merchandise (Com.Gen.SR/28)
*The term Palestinian Arabs is used to denote the Arab inhabitants of Palestine who do not possess Israeli citizenship;
the term Israeli Arabs to denote Palestinian Arabs of Israeli nationality.
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Positions sur le déblocage des comptes bancaires des arabes - Comité général de la CCNUP Français