19 MAY 1973, Page 27

Sir: I have just seen the issue of Your journal

of March 3, in which Miss Eleanor Aitken states that" twothirds of Palestinians now live in exile."

Such an observation cannot be left uncorrected. According to British Mandatory statistics, there were 1.2m Arabs in Palestine in 1948. Today I.5m Arabs live inside Israel's present frontiers (ani increase of 25 per cent). If two-thirds are in exile, that means there are 4.5m Palestine Arabs all told, an almost fourfold increase in 25 Years. It is simply not possible. She goes -on to say that Arabs live in caves "less than half a mile away " from " the crest of a hill overlooking the ancient city of Jerusalem." Well, I live three of four miles from the crest of that hill, and I have never seen such a cave, nor ever heard of an Arab that lives in one.

Miss Aitken says the "High ugly blocks of flats" there could be" transformed" and made "beautiful even," if they were occupied by both Jews and Arabs. If Miss Aitken comes again to Israel, I undertake to show her a hundred new Arab housing units under construction for every one inhabited cave she can discover.

David Krivine 27a He'halutz Street, Jerusalem.