JERUSALEM (Jul. 10)
The third session of the Israel-Egyptian talks on lessening border tension along the Gaza strip will open Wednesday, again under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.
The second two-day session ended Thursday night after a six-hour meeting. It was at this meeting that examination was completed of all proposals on the agenda. The six-day adjournment was decided upon to permit both sides more time to consider several of the security arrangements proposed, especially Gen. Burns’ suggestion that a physical barrier be erected along the border to make infiltration more difficult.
It was learned that the Egyptian delegate obstructed the discussion of every item on the agenda, including consideration of punishment of infiltrators and the establishment of a direct telephone line between the offices of the opposing local commanders. The general impression here is that four days of discussion over the last two weeks have brought no tangible improvement in the situation.
Despite many proclamations to the contrary, the Egyptian negotiator is without full discretion to accept or reject proposals and is bound to consult his government on even the least important matters. There is no feeling that he desires to bring cooperation to the problem of abating tension.
(A report from Cairo said today that several Israel soldiers were killed in a clash on the Gaza border yesterday. Egyptian sources said that an Israel unit crossed the armistice line into the Gaza strip but were driven off by the Egyptians.)