Israel Official Says Sinai Operation Has Limited Objective

A senior official of the Foreign Ministry here today told the press that the Sinai operation is limited to cleaning up the Egyptian fedayeen (commando) operations and is not intended to continue into Egypt. He added that the Israel Government is aware of the fact that it may have large international repercussions.

Last night an Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman declared that the military action which saw Israel troops deeply penetrate into the Sinai Peninsula and occupy positions there was a security measure aimed at eliminating the Egyptian fedayeen units from the area.

The fedayeen units, the spokesman charged, were organized by Egypt as a part of the Egyptian Army two years ago to spread terror in Israel by acts of indiscriminate murder, mining and sabotage. The units, he declared, were quiescent during the last few weeks while Egypt was so deeply involved with the maritime nations over the Suez Canal issue. With the conclusion of the Security Council deliberations on the issue, the spokesman said, Col. Nasser, the Egyptian dictator, felt himself immediately free to authorize the fedayeen to undertake new incursions into Israel.

Within the last week, the Israel spokesman declared, there have been 24 Israel casualties, dead and wounded, in fedayeen mining operations in the Southern Negev. Only today, he reported, after the capture of two gangs of fedayeen near Erez and Sdeh Boker, in the Negev, third group was captured by the Israelis.

CHARGES EGYPT WITH “PERSISTENTLY FLOUTING” THE ARMISTICE AGREEMENT

Col. Nasser, the Israel spokesman charged, has “persistently flouted” the Israel Egypt armistice agreements and has declared Egypt to be in a state of war with Israel “It is not Israel which has sought to encompass Egypt with a ring of steel with the announced and flaunted purpose, at the appropriate moment, of annihilating her,” he asserted. “It is Egypt which gloried in this effort which was crowned a few days ago by formation of the Syrian-Jordan-Egyptian military command under the command of the Egyptian Commander-in-Chief.”

The spokesman declared that Col. Nasser had ignored his international obligations under the Constantinople Convention of 1888 and the Security Council decisions to permit free passage of shipping through the Suez Canal. He pointed out that after the last Security Council session on the Suez situation, the Egyptian Government reiterated its determination to block passage of the canal to Israeli shipping.

“Israel,” he affirmed, “has done all in its power to achieve peace with Egypt. Its leaders declared their readiness to meet with Egyptian representatives any time and any place to discuss settlement of mutual problems.

“The proffered hand of peace has always been brutally and even derisively rejected Egypt’s response has been to heighten the propaganda of hate and hostile activities aimed at the very existence of Israel… Israel seeks a relationship with people of Egypt based on mutual respect of rights, free from the threat of attack on its citizens, of blockade and of interference with its communications by land and sea.”

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