UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Aug. 28)
Both Egypt and Israel have agreed to continue indefinitely the month-long agreement for both governments to keep small-boat traffic, except certain launches, off the Suez Canal, the United Nations announced here today. The exception concerns Egyptian launches providing food and other supplies to foreign ships marooned in the canal since Egypt blocked that waterway at the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli war. last June 5.
The two governments had agreed on July 27 to bar small-boat traffic, for one month, after Israel had insisted that either both governments or neither should be permitted to use the canal. Israel holds the east bank of the canal, while Egypt remains on the west bank. As that agreement expired yesterday, Lt. Gen. Odd Bull, the U.N. supervisor over cease-fire arrangements between Israel and the Arab states, proposed that the pact be extended without limitation as to date. Today, Gen. Bull notified Secretary-General U Thant that the two governments agreed last night, at his suggestion, that the agreement “will continue in effect until otherwise agreed by the two parties.”
In a separate report, concerning the cease-fire in both the Suez and Syrian areas, Gen. Bull notified Mr. Thant “the situations remain quiet” in both those sectors. However, he reported that, on August 23, Israelis demolished some buildings in the Syrian village of Kafir el-Mas, “despite protests lodged with senior liaison officers of the Israel defense forces.” He said he considered the action “a breach of the cease-fire.”