TEL AVIV (Sep. 7)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said yesterday that as long as there was no possibility of arriving at a peaceful settlement with the Arab countries, the only way for Israel to establish a demarcation line was to keep the “natural frontiers” of the Suez Canal with Egypt and the Jordan River with Jordan.
The Premier made his statement while visiting the east bank of the Suez Canal during a helicopter visit to Israeli units in the occupied Sinai Peninsula and the canal area. Standing on the canal bank, looking across to Egyptian positions, Mr. Eshkol said Israel’s reply to the Arab conference in Khartoum last week, which took a series of stands of opposition to any negotiations with Israel, was that “we are here.”
He added that he was sorry, being so near to Cairo, that he could not meet with President Nasser of Egypt “man to man” to discuss the situation. He also said it was a pity that Nasser “puts his prestige ahead of the well-being of his people and their needs.” He reiterated that Israel’s unchanging aim was to achieve peace with the Arab states.
He also expressed the hope that agreement might be reached so that the “enormous quantities” of water now going to waste from the Litani River in Lebanon could be used for irrigation purposes.