JERUSALEM (Jul. 31)
Israeli sources indicated today that Israel probably would not be able to go along with a compromise proposal offered by Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, Secretary-General U Thant’s representative for cease-fire affairs, for determination of the cease-fire line between Egypt and Israel.
Gen, Bull originally had asked both countries for signed maps showing the lines they held. Israel complied but Egypt refused. The U.N. official then suggested that a line down the middle of the Suez Canal be considered the cease-fire line. The Egyptians refused that, too.
Now Gen, Bull has suggested that both sides should hand over to the U.N. observers their versions of the cease-fire line and the U.N. observers would then determine which version was correct. The Israeli position has been, however, that the cease-fire line must be mutually agreed upon and the demarcation lines accepted by both sides without a third party acting as arbiter.
Israel reportedly gave Gen. Bull to understand today that Israel would agree to another proposal he had made–that both Israel and Egypt refrain for one month from sailing their vessels in the Suez Canal. Gen. Bull has been told that Israel would accept either of two conditions: that both sides have the use of the canal or neither. Egypt previously rejected both, insisting that it had exclusive rights to the canal. Gen. Bull left today for Cairo for further talks.