JERUSALEM (Oct. 28)
After a four-hour meeting of the Cabinet, the Israel Government announced today a partial mobilization of Israeli military reserves and shifted a number of battalions to the Arab-Israeli borders to block a possible enemy attack. The Cabinet will continue its meeting tomorrow in an emergency session.
An official announcement said that the government was compelled to mobilize a number of reserve battalions in order to safe guard the country against threats of war from the South, East and North. Everything points to an imminent enemy move, the communique noted, and Israel can only depend on its own forces.
The move, it was explained, was necessitated by the following facts: 1. The new Arab commando attacks during the past fortnight made from Egyptian, Lebanese and Jordan territory upon Israel; 2. The establishment of a military alliance, directed against Israel, by Egypt, Syria and Jordan; 3. The declaration of the rulers of Jordan and Iraq that their principal concern was the destruction of Israel; 4. The simultaneous declarations against Israel by the rulers of Egypt and Syria; and 5. The mobilization of Iraqi armed forces on the borders of Jordan primarily aimed against Israel.
SITUATION IN ISRAEL TENSE; LEADERS CITE IMMINENCE OF ARAB WAR
The situation in Israel was never as tense since the 1949 Arab-Israel armistice as it was today. Border settlements were standing by to implement emergency plans. Leaders throughout the country addressed mass meetings citing the imminence of war from Egypt and Jordan, while the entire press appeared with banner headlines urging military preparedness to meet possible hostile moves from the neighboring Arab countries.
The country’s alert stance toward the encirclement movement by the Syrian-Egyptian-Jordanian unified command and the Iraqi divisions behind the Jordan’s eastern frontier was reflected in the reopening of blood banks. Housewives businessmen, civil servants, civilians of all sorts lined up at Mogen David stations to give blood. At the same time, a maximum number of civil defense programs were set in motion. Despite these unprecedented precautions, there is evidence of determined confidence among the people. The stock exchange is stable and there has been no run on food and clothing stores.
Foreign sources in Israel, particularly the British, estimate the Joint Arab forces on land, sea and in the air at 260,000 front line troops with no reserves. Israel’s regular forces number 50,000 and its reserves add another 200,000.
ARABS CONCENTRATE COMMANDOS AT ISRAEL FRONTIERS; POST HEAVY TANKS
The Davar, leading pro-Government newspaper, today reported that Jordanian fedayeen (suicide squads) have been concentrated on the Israeli border for the last few days while heavy tanks of the “Stalin type” were posted in forward areas in a joint Jordan-Syrian-Egypt provocative move. Citing diplomatic sources. Davar said that the new Arab triumvirate was planning to infiltrate Israel with fedayeen gangs to terrorize the people and if Israel replied with reprisal raids, to immediately start a three-front war on her.
The same source told Davar that Gen. Amar, Egypt’s Minister of War, had informed Syria and Jordan that Egypt is scheduled to receive next month a considerable number of Soviet MIG-17 fighters as well as armored vehicles and heavy artillery. Altogether, Gen. Amar was quoted as saying, the new weapons would increase Egyptian firepower to double that of Israel.
Addressing a group of Israeli labor leaders, Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, said that as a result of last week’s elections in Jordan, and of the Arab tripartite military agreement, the Egyptian ruler Col. Nasser has become Israel’s neighbor in the North and in the East. The situation, she added, was even more dangerous since Egypt, now equipped with Russian submarines, might also besiege Israel in the West.
Everything must be done to attain peace, she said, but Israel must remain on the alert, at the same time, to see to it that should war come, it would have the same result as the war of 1948.