Israeli-syrian Armistice Pact Still Not Concluded; Hopes High for Early Signing

Despite optimistic prospects that the Israeli-Syrian armistice agreement would be concluded today, a 12-hour session between negotiators for both countries ended early this morning without any immediate results. The next negotiating session has not yet been set, but is expected to be held within a few days. Circles close to the Israeli armistice delegation believe that there is a good chance the pact will be signed at an early date.

It was reported here today, but without confirmation, that the Syrians, who previously demanded demilitarization of the town of Zemakh, have agreed to allow this claim to be discussed later by the mixed armistice commission which is to be established under provisions of the armistice agreement.

It was also reported that an agreement has been reached between Catholic and Israeli religious authorities for the formation of a joint commission to investigate war damages of the Church of the Dormition on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The church was in a frontline position during the Arab-Israeli war and the Israeli authorities are prepared to repair whatever damages the Church may have suffered. Israeli and Catholic representatives will meet July 18 to discuss the question of reparations.

Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, addressing an anniversary meeting marking the first year of liberation for the famous Negev settlement of Negba, declared that “the struggle for the Negev has not yet ended and we have to be ready for further campaigns-perhaps even fighting.”

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