JERUSALEM (Aug. 24)
The belief that the United States Government “will find this hour opportune to mediate between Israel and Egypt” was expressed here today. At the same time a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry told representatives of the press that the entire Israel Cabinet, and not the Foreign Ministry, will decide on the next step to be made in connection with the appeal for peace which Premier David Ben Gurion addressed to Egypt in the course of his speech in the Knesset last week.
The Foreign Ministry official said that Mr. Ben Gurion’s appeal has not yet been accompanied by any practical steps. He denied reports that the United Nations truce chief in Palestine, Gen. William Riley, had asked or approached the Israel Government that he be authorized to me liate between Israel and Egypt. He emphasized that the Israel Foreign Ministry does not know of any such or similar steps on the part of Gen. Riley.
The opinion that the U.S. may step into the picture and mediate peace between Egypt and Israel was advanced in “Davar”, leading pro-government daily newspaper. “Although there is no official or unofficial hint to this effect, we know that State Department circles do not exclude the possibility that the present Egyptian government may be ready under the existing circumstances to start negotiations,” the paper said. It added that an intense struggle is now going on in Egypt between extremists and moderates with regard to the question of concluding peace with Israel. “It is premature to judge who will have the upper hand,” the paper stated.
It became known here today that Egypt has asked U.N. observers to arrange for a meeting of the Mixed Israeli-Egyptian Armistice Commission–the first such meeting after many months and since the revolution in Egypt. Israel, it was learned, has already agreed that the meeting should take place on Tuesday.