U.S. Intervenes in Attempt to Halt Gaza Fighting, Revive Talks

The United States intervened today with the Israel and Egyptian Governments to get them to refrain from further hostilities along the Gaza strip frontier and to resume the Gaza pacification talks broken off last week by the Egyptians. U.S. Ambassador Edward B. Lawson called on Premier Moshe Sharett today to deliver his government’s plea.

After Ambassador Lawson’s visit, Premier Sharett called the Israel Cabinet to an extraordinary session on the security situation. The meeting will be held Thursday morning, several hours before the newly-elected Parliament is scheduled to meet on the situation of the North African Jews.

These developments came even as the United Nations chairman of the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission postponed a scheduled meeting of the MAC, suggesting that it was “inconvenient” to hold such a meeting at Kilometer 95, the border site of MAC meetings, because of the shooting along the demarcation line.

Early today a flight of Israel fighters took to the air to chase a group of Egyptian planes which had violated Israel air space over the southwestern tip of the Gaza area. The Egyptian planes did not wait to get a close look at the Israel pilots, but turned tail and hurried back across the border as the Israel fighters approached.

(A report from London citing Egyptian sources said that a two-hour engagement between Israel and Egyptian troops was fought along the Gaza border. The report failed to place the scene of the fighting, but said there were no Egyptian casualties.)

ISRAEL WARNS EGYPT ON ATTACKS

Israel will take all measures’ necessary to defend its territory and to protect the lives of its citizens, a Foreign Ministry spokesman declared here last night, following the eleventh Egyptian attack on Israel civilians and military personnel this week-end, including three attacks yesterday which cost the lives of two Israelis and four Egyptians.

Egyptian aggression has reached dimensions which are “without precedent since the conclusion of the armistice agreement” between Egypt and Israel, the spokesman said. Units of the Egyptian army have not only attacked Israel security patrols moving along the demarcation lines, he continued, but they have penetrated deeply #to Israel territory, mining roads, attacking vehicles and destroying wells with a rising toll of dead and wounded. Israel “cannot be expected to let the situation get out of hand and will take all measures for its self-defense and for the protection of the lives of its citizens,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Kol Israel, the Israel Government radio station, in its Arabic language broadcasts, has been warning the Egyptian leaders against “playing with fire” and has been urging them to cease fire along the Gaza line. The radio pointed out that responsibility for any catastrophe which may result will fall on those leaders responsible for the present state of affairs. The inhabitants of the Gaza strip will soon feel the disastrous results of this policy, the broadcast concluded.

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