Israel Egypt Agree to Withdraw Forces from El Auja Demilitarized Zone

Israel and Egypt acceded today to an appeal made this week-end by Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, United Nations truce chief, to Israel and Egypt to withdraw their forces from the El Auja-Nizana- demilitarized zone.

Despite a number of recent incidents involving Egyptian violation of the cease-fire, a letter by Dr. Walter Eytan, director general of the Foreign Ministry, told Gen. Burns that Israel accepts his request, but at the same time asks that a “reaffirmation by Egypt of her resolve to abide by the cease-fire both at Gaza and Nizana be now obtained.”

The letter asked that Egypt also give assurances that it would comply with that portion of the armistice agreement invoked by Gen. Burns in his call upon both parties, and Israel demanded that Egypt move its troops outside the demilitarized zone as outlined in the armistice agreement. Israel specifically reserved her right to keep troops inside the zone if Egypt does not move its troops to the line called for in the armistice pact, the Eytan letter said.

In addition, it called for Egypt to halt further interference with Israel’s frontier marking project in the area and to resume operation of the Mixed Armistice Commission headquarters at El Auja village along the lines outlined in the armistice agreement. Mean-while, a landmine was discovered today near Beeri, opposite the Gaza strip border, and Israel called on Egypt to note that this was another violation of the cease-fire.

Minor activity was recorded on the Syrian and Jordanian frontiers, with one Jordanian infiltrator killed when a party of Arab marauders was discovered inside Israel. They were ordered to halt, but attempted to escape and the Israel border unit opened fire. The Syrians fired on an Israel police boat on Lake Huleh this week-end, but there were no casualties.

The General Zionist and Herut Parties have circulated a petition calling for re-convening of the new Parliament before its scheduled recess is over, on account of the security and foreign policy situations. It was announced today that the petition had been signed by the 25 deputies needed to call a special session.

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