TEL AVIV (Oct. 31)
The over-all picture of the Israeli advance in the Sinai Peninsula began to emerge here today as it was pieced together from fragmentary local reports and various official British statements, in the absence of any official Israeli statements covering the entire Sinai operation.
The Israel Army’s swift advance in the peninsula was highly praised by military experts. The advancing units had to overcome considerable topographic difficulty in order to secure two non-stop operations–the advance of the units themselves and the movement of the supply convoys necessary to those units.
The Israeli force, starting its advance on Monday, reached the Suez Canal area in a one-day drive–some 230 kilometers from Kantilla and Ras el Naqueb, two strong points near Israel’s southern borders which were taken by the Israeli troops at the new beginning of the operation. It was also pointed out that the old good weather track road through Nakhl, in the peninsula, passes through wadis cutting through high, bare foot.
Meanwhile the Israelis were said to have dropped paratroopers in the Suez area according to a report made to the House of Commons in London Tuesday by Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden. Such an operation was considered here to be very daring in view of the distance of the drop point from Israel itself.
At the same time, Israeli ground forces began to wipe out small Egyptian pockets resistance left behind during their initial advance. Israeli forces also captured Kusseima an Egyptian strong point and crossroads about 10 kilometers from the Israeli border Nitzana (El Auja)–thus placing relatively significant numbers of Egyptian troops in pockets cut off from the main Egyptian strength closer to Suez.
Indications were that the Israelis were now shifting their attempts at advance towards the West, in order to pin down the main Egyptian force, which is still on the Eastern bank of the Suez Canal. Convoys starting out from the bases of that main Egyptian force have already come under strafing attack by the Israel Air Force, which was said to have excelled in the first full day since it had been extensively committed to role in the Sinai operation.