All Municipal Councils in Gaza Area Resign; Defy U. N.

All of the municipal councils in the Gaza Strip have resigned after informing the United Nations Emergency Force that they will not accept instructions from a UN governor, but only from Egyptian authorities.

Meanwhile, it seemed evident that Egypt is already taking over de facto jurisdiction over the Strip. In Gaza town, the Egyptian flag was hoisted today next to the United Nations flag over the building housing the Gaza military governor headquarters. Arab sources have reported that 300 Egyptian policemen have already entered the Gaza Strip. The same sources said that Maj. Gen. E.L. M. Burns, UNEF Commander, has instructed the UN Force to permit the return to Gaza of all Egyptian civilians formerly employed there by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Arab Refugees. This order would include the return of about 100 doctors, teachers and officials.

UNEF officials are being so careful about giving possible offense to the Egyptians that they have even forbidden the entry of Israeli foreign correspondents into Gaza. All correspondents, UNEF has ruled, must be approved first by the Egyptian Governments migration department.

UNEF officials met at Tel Aviv over the week-end, with Israelis formerly engaged in the administration of the Strip, and explored the possibilities of maintaining a limited degree of economic ties between this country’s economy and that of the Gaza Strip

UNEF officials reportedly realize that Gaza cannot survive economically without close trade ties with this country. However, they are handicapped by the general reluctance shown by United Nations headquarters to “tread on Egypt’s toes.”

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