JERUSALEM (Aug. 30)
The possibility that the growing inter-Arab rifts might bring “an unplanned and unpredictable incident” on Israel’s borders was stressed today by Chief of Staff Zvi Tzur in a speech at ceremonies marking the release of a reserve unit which had completed its summer exercises.
He said the threat of such an incident arising from “the present unstable position of the Middle East” was Just as great as the threat to Israel from a decision by the Arabs to start an official war against Israel “This instability can spring up in any section of our borders, ” he warned.
He stressed that for these reasons “it is our goal to strengthen our military power. If we do not, our fate will be dictated by the Arabs. It is essential that we maintain the logic of the balance of power with them. If we fail to do so, we endanger our own lives.”
Israeli officials watched with interest today the widening split between President Nasser of Egypt and the other Arab states emphasized in the Joint Jordan-Saudi Arabia announcement of plans for close military and economic cooperation.
Of special interest here was a reaffirmation in the statement of the common enmity of the two Arab countries toward Israel and a pledge to “act within a unified plan to restore at all costs sacred Arab rights in Palestine.” The Joint announcement last night accused Nasser of shattering Arab unity.