Israel at U.N. Calls for Removal of Suez Canal Blockade by Egypt; Announces Concession

Israel told the United Nations Security Council today that it would evacuate its troops from the disputed area of Beir Katar, and called for removal of the Suez Canal blockade as a token of good faith by the other side. Abba Eban, the Israel delegate to the Council also urged compliance of Jordan with the armistice agreement in respect to free access to the Holy Places and Mt. Scopus and free passage through Latrun.

Israel forces occupied Beir Katar sometime ago on the ground that the charts of the armistice agreement with Egyptdid not classify it in the area for which military limitations had been prescribed. Subsequently, the mixed armistice commission ruled on the complaint of Egypt that Beir Katar did fall within that area.

Revealing that conversations here with the armistice commission chief, Gen. William E. Riley, had failed to achieve any change, Mr. Eban said Israel is now ready to comply with the decision in the interests of concession and harmony. He stressed, however, that Israel reserved the right to make security arrangements, in accordance with the armistice pact, for its settlement of Ein Netafim, which is in the area.

At the same time, however, Mr. Eban characterized as “flimay, false and frivolous” the other charges brought before the Council by Egypt and Jordan, and categorically denied that any of them had any foundation. These charges include the expulsion of Bedouins from certain areas and illegal occupation of land on the Jordan River near the Ruttenberg electrical concession. Mr. Eban added that the examination of Gen. Riley and former Acting Mediator Ralph J. Bunche had made clear that Israel had not committed any illegalities.

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