JERUSALEM (Dec. 28)
United Nations truce chief Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns today issued a statement taking issue with an official announcement made here yesterday by the Foreign Ministry that Israel has accepted and Egypt has rejected the proposals by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold for pacification of the Nitzana-El Auja demilitarized area, where armed units of the two countries clashed recently.
“Both parties stipulated conditions in regard to acceptance of the proposals,” Gen. Burns declared in a communique. The negotiations have not “broken down” as stated by the Israel Foreign Ministry’s public statement, the truce chief added. “The present position of the Egyptian Government is that it has not yet formulated its final position, and the negotiations are still open,” Burns insisted.
According to Gen. Burns, the progress of the negotiations was impeded by the “disturbance of Arab public opinion” following Israel’s attack. December 11, on Syrian gun emplacements on Lake Tiberias which had earlier fired at Israel fishermen and police boats.