TEL AVIV (Jan. 7)
Egypt, the strongest of the Arab states, is the only one likely to start a new war, “but she will never risk one without permission from the Kremlin,” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told a meeting of Defense Ministry workers here last night. Gen. Dayan was confident that there would be no renewed warfare along the West Bank because its inhabitants have no desire for war and their thinking may affect the leaders in Amman.
He conceded, however, that Israel will never be able to entirely eliminate terrorist activities, “because they operate from bases beyond our borders.” Nevertheless, Gen. Dayan said, “we are defeating the primary aim of the terrorists, which is to disrupt normal life in Israel.” He said, that whatever develops, Israel’s future borders will be drawn according to her security needs. “They will not remain, as before June 5, near Natanya and Kfar Saba.” The two towns he mentioned lie in what was the narrowest portion of Israel prior to the June war.
Gen. Dayan indicated that Israel’s forces were fully ready to meet any new assault “from the southern front, south of the Suez area.” A new war would start there, he said, “because, behind the southern front stands the strongest Arab state and one that is vying for leadership of the Arab world and has the support of Russia.” He said he was confident that the West Bank will remain quiescent militarily, “not because the inhabitants support us or want us to control them, but because the know that a new war will bring in its wake only destruction and ruin to themselves and their homes.”