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Israeli’s Military Position Outlined at Lake Success; Arab Reports Termed “absurd”

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Arab reports of the capture of the Jewish coastal township of Natanya in Israel were termed “absurd” by a military spokesman of the Israeli delegation at the United Nations. He declared that communiques issued from Cairo and Amman “give a distorted impression of the military position in Palestine,” and outlined the following facts:

The territory of the state of Israel is entirely free of invaders, and Israeli forces in operations of active defense have seized military control of more than 400 square miles of territory outside Israel. Israeli forces are in control of the whole of Galilee. Syrian and Lebanese invaders have been evicted entirely from Palestinian soil, and Israeli forces have been operating on Syrian and Lebanese soil.

The coastal plain from the Lebanese border down to Isdud–the Arab border city under the partition plan–is under full Israeli control. All the seaports of Palestine–Acre, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jaffa–are in Jewish hands. Israeli forces have advanced within the last few days into the Arab triangle in the direction of Jenin, capturing Lajjun and Zirin.

In the south Egyptian attacks on Jewish villages have all been successfully repelled. Advanced bases of the Egyptian forces in Majdal have been successfully attacked. Egyptian forces are operating exclusively on Arab territory. All territory assigned to Israel in the Jordan Valley has been cleared of the invader, and Beisan is the seat of a Jewish military command.

The heights overlooking the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, which is outside Israeli territory, are all in Israeli hands, with the exception of the Latrun monastery around which the battle is now raging. Dispatches placing Arab forces a few miles from Tel Aviv are entirely misleading since the boundaries of Israel are at many points only a few miles east of Tel Aviv.

A spoken for the’ Israeli Government also revealed here today that the so-called Christian Union in Jerusalem, which has issued a manifesto regarding damage to religious buildings in Jerusalem, is not a neutral body. “It is a group of Arab clergymen or clergymen with predominantly Arab congregations, which has completely identified itself with the political aims of the Arab Higher Committee. None of the Protestant churches is associated with this group, nor is the Roman Catholic church as such,” the spokesman said.

“Over two months ago the Syrian delegate in the Security Council read a political statement by this group which gave complete support to the Arab case,” the Israeli spokesman pointed out. “It demanded the revocation of the General Assembly’s partition resolution and declared the solidarity of this group with their ‘Moslem brethren.’ Since then this body has continued to be active in the field of Arab political propaganda.”

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