Israel Agrees to Evacuate El Arish, Will Not Quit Akaba Area

Israel forces are not evacuating Sharm el Sheikh, the area on the Sinai Peninsula opposite the Strait of Tiran from which Egyptian artillery forbade passage into the Gulf of Akaba to Israeli shipping, Maj. Gen. E. L. M Burns, commander of the United Nations Emergency Force, told newsmen today after a meeting with Maj. Gen. Moshe Dayan, Israel Army Chief of Staff.

Gen. Burns revealed that Israel would draw back a further 25 kilometers (15 miles) from its present positions and evacuate El Arish, capital of Sinai, by January 15. Later, Gen. Dayan confirmed that Israeli troops would march out of El Arish on that date. Gen. Burns said that after UNEF troops entered El Arish he would set up his forward headquarters in the town.

The line of evacuation will extend southward from El Arish through the site of St. Catherine’s Monastery. Yugoslav troops, who are now three and a half miles west of El Arish, will move into and ten miles past the town. Indian contingents, advancing along the Red Sea coast from Suez, will occupy the monastery grounds at the same time.

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