Israelis Warn Arabs Against Wrecking Armistice Agreements

The armistice agreements between Israel and her Arab neighbors and the entire United Nations armistice machinery could be wrecked by a new interpretation of clauses dealing with frontier controls, an authoritative military personality warned today.

He charged that the Arab states had embarked on a new tack to harass Israel by taking the position that the armistice lines were not closed to civilians. He noted that in meetings of the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commissions, the Arabs have suddenly begun to take the position that the armistice agreements do not cover the crossing of the border by civilians unless they were directed to do so by the authorities. If their contention were sustained, the Arab states would consider themselves absolved from all responsibility for halting infiltration to Israel.

The Israelis take the position that sections of the armistice agreements cover crossing of the border by regulars and irregular forces, and a sub-section dealing with the passage of civilians obliges the Arab authorities to prevent infiltration by civilians. An Israeli spokesman today stressed the importance of decisions by the UN truce authorities on this issue.

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