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U.N. Secretary-general Says Syrian-israeli Clashes Are Seasonal

United Nations Secretary-General U Thant today attributed the clashes between Syria and Israel in the demilitarized border zone to the rainy season when grass grows and cultivation begins in this zone.

Answering a question at his press conference this morning, U Thant said: “You will remember that this is a time of the year when rains begin to fall in the area, the grass grows and cultivation starts. At this time of the year, whenever cultivation starts, there are sporadic shootings and incidents. So I would say that the present phase in certain sections of the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria, is more seasonal than anything else.”

Asked whether he still intended to visit the Arab refugee camps, U Thant replied that he had accepted an invitation of the Arab states to visit the Middle East and even to visit some refugee camps. “The only thing is that I have not been in a position so far to determine when I could visit the area, “he said, “so my answer is: I have accepted the invitation of the Arab states to visit the area, and I am looking forward to visiting at least some of the refugee camps at the earliest available opportunity.”

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