JERUSALEM (Sep. 8)
Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns. Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, issued a correction today to his report on the Gaza situation which was released simultaneously here and at the United Nations yesterday.
Responding to protests by Israel officials here and in New York, that his report blamed Israel for the incident of August 22 which touched off the recent border violence in which some 100 persons died on both sides of the Gaza strip frontier. Gen. Burns said that he wanted to “correct the impression that my report attributed responsibility for beginning the period of violence to one party or another.”
He explained that a sentence of his report noting that the Mixed Armistice Commission might not be able to establish who fired the first shot was omitted during the telegraphing of his report. He further noted that the MAC decision was reached too late for inclusion in his report. That decision blamed Egypt for starting the firing and Israel for rescuing its pinned-down patrol by driving forward and taking an Egyptian post which was firing on the patrol.
In a reaction to the Burns report yesterday recommending the erection of a barbed wire barrier along the length of the Gaza demarcation line and the erection of a demilitarized zone along the border, an Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman said Israel fully supports the idea of a barrier which he noted would keep the two armed forces apart and cut down on infiltration. He felt that the demilitarized zone proposal should wait until the success of the barrier could be judged.
Today, the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission met at Kilometer 95 and adopted two resolutions, one condemning Egypt and one condemning Israel for two incidents which occurred on August 22. Both incidents in which a total of four persons were wounded, occurred after the far more important incident on the same day in which an Israel patrol was fired on and Israel forces captured an Egyptian command post, leading to the recent battles.