TEL AVIV (Oct. 20)
The Israeli Cabinet went into meeting late this afternoon to decide on a day and hour for ordering its troops in the Negev to cease fire, in obedience to an order from the U.N. Security Council. (Decision was expected late tonight since the Cabinet was in its sixth hour of continuous session, but none was received before the Bulletin went to press.)
The Foreign Office, responding to a communication from Dr. Paul Mohm, U.N. aide, asking for the date and hour of the unconditional cease-fire, promised that the information would be forwarded to him as soon as the Cabinet acted. An Israeli spokesman today acknowledged receipt of a cable from Warren Austin, U.S. Security Council president, informing Israel of the Council’s action on the ceasefire. The cable added that “withdrawal to previous” positions might be considered as a basis for further negotiations.
The Israeli air force was active over the Negev again today and last night, with military installations at Gaza, Beersheba, El Arish, Majdal and Beit Jibrin serving as chief bombing targets. An Army spokesman described the bombing operations as a “milk run.” U.N. observers at Gaza reported that 67 bombs were dropped on that city during five air raids last night. They also reported that Israeli naval units attacked coastal installations near Majdal, while the Israelis reported that they have been harassing Egyptian vessels supplying the invaders.
Israeli land forces today consolidated a number of positions south of the Majdal-Faluja line and along the Bethlehem-Beit Jibrin road. A U.N. spokesman in Haifa said that reports had been received from observers that other operations were developing at other fronts, including several west of Nablus.
The road to the Negev settlements is now open and convoys have been moving steadily for two days, it was officially announced here tonight. It was also disclosed that the road was opened following the capture of the Arab strongholds of Euleqat, Beittina and Qauqaba. In the fighting for these points scores of Egyptians were killed and many prisoners were taken, although Jewish losses were light, the announcement said.