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Britain Doubts Whether All Israeli Forces Have Been Withdrawn from Egyptian Soil

The assurance given by the Israeli Government to the United States Government that no Israeli troops now remain on Egyptian soil was welcomed here today by the British Foreign Office. However, the British Government continued to charge Israel with violating the Palestine truce by entering Egyptian territory.

Declaring that it is “likely” that some Israeli units still remain on Egyptian soil, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The withdrawal gives some local relief to the general situation which continues to be grave and will continue to give cause ?or anxiety. The whole situation has arisen out of a flagrant violation of the recent decisions of the U.N. Security Council with regard to the Negev.”

The Foreign Office today refused to confirm or deny reports about alleged British troop movements in the Aqaba area of Trans Jordan. A conciliatory statement issued by British Consul-General Cyril Marriott in Haifa yesterday–declaring that “Britain has no Intention of engaging in war against Israel”–was repudiated today by a Foreign Office spokesman.

The official indicated that the conciliatory note in Marriott’s statement does not correspond with the policy of the British Government, which is seeking to put the blame for the situation in the Negev entirely on Israel.

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