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Ben Gurion, on Tour of Negev Settlements, Explains Withdrawal Decision

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, accompanied by his chief military advisors, made a surprise visit today to two key settlements on the Gaza Strip border.

The visit followed a decision by the Premier to shift his headquarters from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to be in closer contact with the Israeli Defense Ministry and to concentrate on the security problem.

Ben Gurion told settlers at Nahal Oz and Nirim, principal targets of Egyptian fedayeen raids before the Sinai campaign, that “compelling reasons” had forced Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The Premier also told the settlers that the best security for the border areas was continuing strengthening of the army.

He was accompanied b Maj. Gen. Moshe Dayan, Israeli A my Chief of Staff, Brigadier Halm Laskov, in command of the Israeli southern defenses, and Shimon Perez, Deputy General of the Defense Ministry.