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Dayan Says Israel Could Close Suez Canal but Prefers Peace

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan said today that Israel could close the Suez Canal by force of arms and was ready for hostilities but was equally ready to meet the Arabs to work out a peaceful agreement covering any area– “even a single well or a dunam of land.”

The former Chief of Staff is campaigning for a seat in the Israeli Parliament on the Mapai Party ticket headed by Premier David Ben Gurion. His statement was made to an election rally of Mapai youth groups, in explanation of statements he had previously made which had been denounced as threatening war.

In the course of his speech, the ex-commander disclosed some facts about the sensational Sinai campaign be directed in 1956, and about the final decision to withdraw the Israeli forces when they were in sight of their goal.

“When it was necessary to decide whether to stay in Sinai or retire,” he said, “I was glad that I did not have to make the decision and that the responsibility fell on Premier Ben Gurion.”

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