HAIFA (Dec. 10)
Labor Minister Yigal Allon warned Egypt today against any attempt to resume the Middle East war, and said that even the massive presence of Soviet military power in the Middle East will not deter Israel from acting in legitimate self-defense.
Mr. Allen, a hero of the 1948-49 War of Liberation, said in an interview with a Haifa newspaper that “every weapon that Egypt can purchase or produce with the aid of a big power, Israel can match with or without big power assistance.” He added that it would be catastrophic for Egypt to try to re-cross the Suez Canal under the illusion that it has quantitative superiority. He pointed out that Israel’s positions in Sinai are much closer to Egypt’s population centers than Egyptian positions are to Israel’s. Israel, he said, is ready to reopen the Suez Canal whenever she is permitted to use it, like any other nation. Foreign Ministry director-general Gideon Rafael, former permanent representative of Israel at the United Nations. said in a radio broadcast last night that the time now is not ripe for Israel to come up with an overall plan for solution of the Arab refugee problem. Foreign Minister Abba Eban had said several months ago that Israel has such a plan.