Israel Cabinet Discusses Tense Situation on Egyptian Front

The Israel Cabinet today considered the tense situation along the Gaza strip border which has developed into a major trouble area with extreme rapidity following a number of incidents last week beginning with the killing of three Israel officers and the wounding of two others by an Egyptian landmine.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Edward B. Lawson of the United States asked Premier Moshe Sharett today for a meeting to discuss the situation along the Gaza strip which yesterday was the scene of a two-hour artillery and machine gun battle.

Present at today’s meeting of the Cabinet was Abba Eban, Israel Ambassador to Washington and head of its delegation to the United Nations. Thursday, Mr. Eban and Ambassadors Eliahu Elath and Yaacov Tsur, Israel envoys to London and Paris respectively, all of whom were recalled for consultations, will meet with the Israel Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. This meeting was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but was delayed to permit the envoys to meet with Foreign Ministry officials.

Yesterday’s battle began when an Israel patrol in the Kissufim area was fired upon with automatic weapons and mortars. The Israelis returned the fire and after a time the Egyptian positions fell silent. The Israelis reported no casualties.

It was disclosed this week-end that the Mixed Armistice Commission would discuss last Tuesday’s incident, in which the three Israel officers lost their lives, this week. The Egyptians have not yet lodged a complaint with the Commission on the officially announced reprisal raid carried out by an Israel military force next day. Meanwhile, a United Nations observer, accompanied by an Israel delegation, was forced to interrupt his investigation of an Egyptian attack on Givat Rachel last Thursday when an Egyptian post opened fire on the investigating party yesterday.

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