Israel and Syria Reach Agreement on Release of Detained Vessels

A Syrian vessel which was captured by Israeli authorities on January 9 when it developed engine trouble and drifted inside Israeli territorial waters will be released under an agreement reached between the two states in the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission. The agreement provides for the release of all vessels of the two states which entered the territorial waters of the other state as a result of storms or mechanical trouble.

Five Syrian prisoners of war, scheduled to be repatriated to the Arab state under an agreement which has already returned five Israelis to this country have told United Nations representatives that they do not want to leave Israel, official U.N. sources said today. The Israelis also released a Syrian vessel which entered Israeli territorial waters several weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a party of 150 Arabs crossed the border into Syria to rejoin families now living in that state. An additional 80 Arabs are scheduled to leave for Syria shortly for the same reason.

Two protests have been filed with the Israeli-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission by Israel against Jordan’s failure to keep Arab marauders in check in the border regions. One complaint deals with an incident on the border of the “triangle” area, in central Israel, where an Israeli patrol on Israel territory was fired on by members of an Arab band. The second protest deals with an exchange of fire between a marauding band and an Israeli military patrol which killed three Arabs in the exchange:

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