JERUSALEM (Feb. 19)
Premier David Ben Gurion today made it clear that while the Israel Government hopes to continue its talks with the United States on proposals for settlement of the Akaba-Gaza issue, in the hope that a solution will be found acceptable to all the countries involved, the Cabinet remains firm in its demand for acceptable guarantees against Egyptian blockade and aggression before withdrawal Israeli troops from the Gaza and Akaba areas.
Mr. Ben Gurion expressed this view in the course of consultations which he held during the day with leaders of all the opposition parties except the Communist Party. The opposition leaders are reported to have promised their fullest support of the position outlined by the Premier.
The Israel Cabinet will tomorrow hold its second extraordinary meeting of the week to consider United States reaction to the proposals presented to Ambassador Edward B. Lawson yesterday by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.
Observers believe there is no conflict between the “new approach” offered by Mr. Ben Gurion and proposals by Canada’s Lester B. Pearson, that a United Nations investigation committee visit both the Gaza and Akaba areas to study the situation. Although Mr. Ben Gurion’s proposals are secret, it is thought that they suggested a “breathing spell” for all parties concerned while the entire matter is given further, exhaustive study.