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Israel Announces Readiness to Meet Egypt for Peaceful Settlement of Negev Battle

The Israeli Government tonight announced its readiness to meet with Egyptian representatives “any time at such a place as may be agreed upon in order to settle peacefully all differences that have arisen between Egypt and Israel in the Negev.”

The government offer was made in response to an inquiry by the United Nations as to whether Israel is prepared to order an immediate and unconditional four-day cease-fire so as to provide time for the peaceful settlement of the Negev difficulties regarding the maintenance of the truce there. The United Nations proposed that a meeting of the parties involved be held in Government House in Jerusalem.

Asked whether the Israeli authorities will in the meantime issue a ceasefire order, a government spokesman said: “Judging from past experiences during the first and second truce, we don’t feel prepared to order any cease-fire until we have proper gurantees that the Egyptian undertakings will be kept and the road to the Negev will be kept open.”

ISRAELI FORCES CONSOLIDATING NEGEV POSITIONS ROUTE TO SETTLEMENTS OPENED

Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Negev were today actively consolidating positions gained in yesterday’s intense fighting and were pressing on to eliminate what-ever Egyptian positions continued to menace Israeli communications to the Negev settlements.

Late yesterday the Jews succeeded in capturing a number of heights along the Majdal-Faluja-Beit Jebrin road, finally freeing the supply road to the more than a score of Jewish settlements in the desert. An official communique this morning revealed that the Israeli air force was active again during the night, bombing enemy concentrations at Gaza, Beersheba, Majdal, Faluja and the El. Arish airfield.

As a result of the fighting, an Israeli striking force seized complete control of a six-mile-wide corridor through the Egyptian lines and immediately began to send supply trucks rolling through to the isolated Jewish outposts which have been depending on their provisions for the past few months on the “Israeli air lift.”

The Iraqi front in central Palestine became active today when the Arabs shelled the Jewish settlement of Kfar Yavitz for a half-hour. Kfar Yavitz faces the Tulkarm-Nablus leg of the Arab triangle of Tulkarm-Nablus-Jenin.

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