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4 May 1948
UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION
TO THE SECOND SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In paragraph V.D.7. of the United Nations Palestine Commission’s report to the General Assembly (document A/532), attention was drawn to the fact that shortly after 15 May a very serious food shortage might arise in Palestine owing to an interruption in the flow of imports. The immediate danger of a food crisis in Palestine has since been averted by the conclusion of an agreement which will ensure the import of certain essential foods required to meet the needs of Palestine up to 15 July. This agreement was foreshadowed as a possibility in the second special report of the Palestine Commission to the Security Council (document S/720), prepared subsequently to the submission of the Commission’s report to the second special session of the General Assembly. Since this special report and the report to the Assembly were presented the Commission was informed, in a letter from the Mandatory Power of 17 April 1948, that the negotiations referred to in paragraph 18 of the special report have been brought to a successful conclusion. Similar agreements have been reached for both the Arab and Jewish communities of Palestine. The agreements are as follows: Import licenses were issued on 10 April by the Food Controller in Palestine to the importing agents who have hitherto acted for the Palestine Administration, on behalf of Arab Chambers of Commerce on the one hand and the Jewish Agency on the other. The importing agents have agreed to advance eighty per cent of the cost of these imports, the Arabs and Jews advancing the remaining twenty per cent. With the assistance of the British Ministry of Food, 26,000 tons of wheat flour will be imported into Palestine to complete the International Emergency Food Committees allocations for Palestine for the period up to 30 June 1948. Of this quantity of wheat flour, 14,300 tons are designated for the Arab sector and 11,700 tons for the Jewish sector. Import licenses have also been granted for about 650 tons of canned and frozen meat and for a certain quantity of oil and oil seeds.
This arrangement will meet the pressing needs of Palestine until about the middle of July. It should be emphasized, however, that in order to prevent any future break in the flow of essential imports, it is necessary that further arrangements be made without delay since on the average at least two months will elapse between shipment and delivery.