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Israel Bars Unescorted UN Observers from Areas in Suez Canal Zone

Foreign Ministry sources, citing safety considerations, have confirmed that Israel had rejected a request by United Nations cease-fire teams for freedom of unaccompanied movement in the Suez Canal region. UN observers are stationed on both sides of the canal.

The sources said that when UN observers want to travel from their observation posts on cease-fire duty, their Israeli liaison officer goes with them. The sources explained that Israel could not take responsibility for the safety and lives of the UN observers unless they were accompanied on such trips by someone who knew the language for the area and the passwords.