WASHINGTON (Mar. 2)
Reports on the Egyptian-Israel clash in the Gaza area were received today by the State Department from Cairo and Tel Aviv. Officials there indicated that the United States will be guided by the final judgment of the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission.
Meanwhile, it was indicated here that the U.S. Government feels that the Gaza incident might have been one of Israel’s “gravest miscalculations” and that Israel might have launched an attack there to call attention to Israel’s isolation in the emerging pattern of Near Eastern defensive arrangements.
The view that Israel attacked to dramatize its situation was put forward yesterday by Lebanese Ambassador Charles Malik when he conferred with George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, according to highly placed sources. Mr. Malik’s contention, it was learned today, has gained a large measure of acceptance in official Washington.
American officials feel that 48 hours ago the Arab League was all but disintegrated, but that the alleged action by Israel at Gaza may well reunify the League on the eve of the Indonesia conference of Asian nations. It is thought that the Gaza clash will strengthen the position of Egypt among the Arabs.
It is reported here that Arab ambassadors in Washington, before the Gaza incident, conceded that the Turkish-Iraqi pact would dissolve the Arab League and weaken the anti-Israel front. It was also reported that the United States has no intention at this juncture of making any security concessions to Israel. The solution for Israel has been outlined as adoption of a philosophy of patience, confidence, and self-restraint.
Israel has been told to be happy over the Turkish-Iraqi pact because it weakens Egypt and the Arab League, and is being enjoined to have more confidence in the State Department which, according to State Department sources, is planning with a view to Israel’s ultimate best interests.