Armistice Commission Blames Egypt for Attacks on Israelis
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Armistice Commission Blames Egypt for Attacks on Israelis

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Egypt today was condemned by the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission for “warlike acts” which constitute “flagrant violations” of the Egypt-Israel armistice agreement.

The U.N. ruling came as a result of four attacks last Wednesday night and early Thursday morning against Israeli patrols and Israel civilians–including women and children–on roads and in settlements along the Gaza strip border. In the raids and ambushes, two Israelis were killed and 20 were wounded.

The Egyptians refused to attend the Commission’s meeting at which they were condemned. At first they insisted they had not had enough time to read investigators’ reports of the incidents, whereupon the United Nations chairman of the commission gave the Egyptian delegates two hours to study the reports. When the Egyptians still refused to attend two hours later, the Commission continued its meeting and voted the condemnation.

In strong terms holding the Egyptian authorities responsible for the attacks, the Commission found that the ambushes were “carried out by Egyptian military or paramilitary forces.” The Commission’s resolution expressed “great concern” over “the dangerous situation” prevailing along the Gaza strip on the Egyptian-Israel border where the raids were staged and blamed the Egyptians for “infiltrations which have been aggravated by the last Egyptian aggressive acts.”

The Commission called on the Egyptians to “put an immediate end” to such or other aggressive acts, holding them violations of the armistice agreement, demanded that the Egyptian authorities punish those responsible for the “intolerable” situation.

MAC SUPPORTS ISRAEL POSITION ON ATTACKS

The MAC’s ruling supported completely the Israeli contentions, made Friday when the UN body was requested to hold an emergency meeting, that the raids were part of a “calculated military attack” by the Egyptians.

The first of the ambushes was staged last Wednesday night when an Israeli military vehicle on the Israel side of the border was fired on near the Saad Road. An hour later, an Israeli patrol was attacked a short distance away, at Beri. Within another hour and a half, a civilian truck was attacked in the same area, at Zikim. Early Thursday morning, Egyptians attempted to break into Moshav Shouva, a settlement near Saad.

At Moshev Shouva, two hand grenades were tossed by the Egyptians at a building in which 17 women and children, who had attended a wedding in the colony, were taking refuge. The grenades, like much of the spent ammunition found at the sites of all four attacks, bore British markings and insignia of the Egyptian armed forces.

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