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Israel Starts Withdrawal of Troops from Demilitarized Nizana Area

The withdrawal of Israel troops from the demilitarized Nizana–El Auja–area began this morning after United Nations truce supervisor Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns and the Israel Foreign Ministry came to agreement on a number of points raised by Israel in relation to the demilitarized zone.

An Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman, explaining the agreement governing the withdrawal noted that Israel’s occupation of the demilitarized zone was a political, not military, move designed to force withdrawal of Egypt’s illegal military outposts in the area. The Israel move was successful, he underlined. He gave the following description of the agreement reached:

The Egyptian outposts would be withdrawn and only ten-man squads would be maintained in check-points along the border line. Their armaments would not exceed that of regular squad armament. They would build no permanent fortifications in the demilitarized zone.

Israel police units would guard Israel’s section of the demilitarized zone, and the international border would be marked separately by Israel and Egyptian units, each operating on its own side of the border. The exact details of this operation were left to be worked out at another time. Also agreed to, was the limitation of Egyptian personnel to the UN armistice headquarters in zone to six men who would be confined to working inside the building and would not be free to wander around the area at will.

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