TEL AVIV (Dec. 30)
A Cabinet meeting is expected to be held here upon receipt of the U.N. Security Council’s order for an immediate eases-fire in the Negev, it was reported today. The official order is expected to arrive here late today.
Meanwhile, it was officially announced that ground activity in the Negev has been reduced greatly. In addition, it was stated that air activity is restricted to the area of land operations. The communique also revealed that two Egyptian fighter planes were shot down in combat over the Negev today.
In Haifa, Brig. Gen. William Riley, U.N. chief of staff, issued orders to all observers in the south to proceed to Gaza. He said that he did not wish to risk the lives of his unarmed personnel during the present strife and that it was impossible to give a complete and accurate report to the acting mediates as long as the battle continues.
Following the circulation, for the second consecutive day, of reports from Iraq that Iraqi troops had resumed fighting, an Israeli spokesman again denied that such was the case. “If the Iraqi Premier says so, he is a liar,” the spokesman added.
(In London, a British Foreign office spokesman admitted today that the information on which British delegate to the U.N. Security Council Harold Beeley based his statement yesterday–that an Israeli incursion into Egypt had been made–“came not from our own sources.” He declined, however, to reveal the source, adding that it was not unusual for information to be turned over to the British delegation at the U.N. without prior Foreign Office clearance.)
OVER 400,000 JEWS, ARABS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS
A total of 389,948 Jews in Israel will be eligible to vote in the general election–the first popular election in the Jewish state–scheduled to be held Jan. 25, Interior Minister Itzhak Gruenbaum told a session of the State Council today. The figure is exclusive of eligible members of the armed forces. The number of Arabs in Israel who will be able to vote at the 747 polling pleases which will be set up next month, Gruenbaum asserted, is 32,780.
The Interior Minister said that the elections will be held on time, as originally announced, thanks to special efforts by election officials. He added that full electoral lists will be published on Sunday and expressed the hope that voter-identity cards will be distributed by Jan. 10. He indicated that another “Operation Curfew”–in which all Israelis would be confined to their homes for an evening–night be necessary to facilitate the distribution of voting cards.
A delegation of 40 Argentine Jewish industrialists arrived at Lydda last night in three planes. The delegates, headed by Jose Mirelman, will remain in Israel three weeks and will meet with Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Fritz Bernstein. The delegation will also tour various industrial areas.