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Eshkol Says Chances for Arab-israel Peace Are Better Today Than Ever

Premier Levi Eshkol told an impromptu conference with foreign journalists today that as long as Israel’s neighbors continued to make plans for Israel’s destruction, “we are not going to evacuate any of the territories under our control necessary for our security.”

He added that if the Arab rulers would agree to negotiate with Israel, “all problems could be solved” and he reiterated an earlier statement that “chances for peace are better today than at any time in the past 20 years.” The Premier emphasized his belief that Jews and Arabs could live in peace and expressed the hope that this would soon be a reality.

Two Israeli prisoners of war captured by Iraq were returned by Jordan today to Israel in exchange for 428 Jordanian prisoners held by Israel. The Israelis were pilots show down over Iraq and transferred to Jordan last week.