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Department of Public Information (DPI)
13 December 1949
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York
Press Release PAL/542
13 December 1949
ARAB REFUGEES RE-ENTER ISRAEL FROM LEBANON
(The following was received at UN Headquarters from a UN Press Officer
in el Nakura, on the Israel-Lebanon border.)
The first group of Arab refugees to be readmitted into Israel under United Nations auspices today entered Israel from Lebanon.
The group comprised 73 people, women and children under 15 years of age, who are being repatriated under an agreement concluded last Summer by Israel and her four Arab neighbors under the auspices of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission. This agreement provides that certain Arab refugees, who are economically dependent on breadwinners staying in Israel, shall be reunited with their families in Israel.
Eight thousand Arab refugees living in Lebanon have applied through the channels of the Lebanon-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission for repatriation under this agreement, and 700 of these applicants have so far been approved by the Government of Israel.
Lists of the people scheduled for repatriation today contained 153 names, but only 73 actually showed up at the scheduled time. This discrepancy in numbers was probably due to the fact that many were unaware that they were scheduled for repatriation today.
Another group, numbering about 200, is scheduled to be repatriated from Lebanon by the same route on 15 December. Most of the refugees in these first two groups will rejoin families in the Acre area.
Negotiations on the similar repatriation of refugees from other Arab states are continuing between Israel and Jordan, Egypt and Syria through the channels of the respective Mixed Armistice Commissions, and it is expected that the first repatriates from Jordan will arrive in Israel within a few weeks.
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