JERUSALEM (Apr. 4)
The Israel Cabinet met in emergency session early this morning to consider the situation created by the long series of Egyptian border provocations culminating in last night’s extended engagement in which two Israel soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded.
After the meeting Ambassador Abba Eban, Israel delegate to the United Nations, was instructed to call for an urgent meeting of the Security Council and Mr. Sharett met with American Ambassador Edward B. Lawson for the third consecutive meeting in three days between the two statesmen.
(In Washington, State Department officials were closely observing developments today in the tense situation evolving in the wake of weekend incidents on the Israel-Egyptian frontier. Cables from U.S. observers in Israel and Egypt were carefully studied as soon as received.)
An emergency meeting of the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission, scheduled to be held this morning to consider last night’s 90-minute pitched battle, was cancelled. The incident commenced last night with the landmine ambushing of an Israel patrol vehicle near Nachal Oz, inside Israel territory adjoining the Gaza strip. After the car was blown up, Egyptian small arms fire and mortars opened up on the Israelis in the wreck, pinning them down. It took reinforcements armed with mortars to finally silence the Egyptian gun nests and permit the evacuation of the Israel casualties.
At its meeting today, the Cabinet considered not only the latest incident, but a series which began with the murderous attack on a wedding party at the Patish settlement, several weeks ago. In the past two weeks attacks by Egyptian troops or infiltrees on Israel patrols or settlements have averaged in the neighborhood of three a day.