Nasser: Six-months Cease-fire if Israel Withdraws from Territory; Israel Rejects Bid

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser asserted in a filmed interview last night that he would accept a temporary cease-fire of six months or less and would promise to keep Arab terrorists from using the now-occupied territories as anti-Israel bases if Israel would agree immediately to carry out the provisions of the United Nations cease-fire resolution which includes withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967. “Our object.” he said, “is the withdrawal of the Israelis from the occupied territories” and the repatriation or compensation of the Palestinian refugees. He said he would recognize the existence of Israel only if it returned to the June 4,1967 boundaries. The interview, filmed in Egypt within the past month, was telecast nationally on “The Advocates,” a public-TV series. Col. Nasser agreed that Israeli withdrawal should be part of a “package deal,” contained in the UN cease-fire resolution. He repudiated the cease-fire agreement last year. He also contended in the interview that Israeli Premier Golda Meir is “not ready to accept the word ‘withdrawal.’” Mrs, Meir and Foreign Minister Abba Eban recently indicated acceptance of the cease-fire and willingness to negotiate the territories. Col. Nasser again rejected direct Arab-Israeli negotiations, alleging that “it will be a table of capitulation.”

(Political circles in Jerusalem dismissed today President Nasser’s proposal as unacceptable. They asserted that his statements were calculated for foreign ears, as earlier Sunday he had told factory workers in Shabin El-Qawm: “We are determined to go to war against Israel. Having won the earlier singe of the war of deterrence and of attrition, we shall also win the war of liberation.” Col. Nasser also told the mass rally: “Since May last year, when we initiated the war of attrition, we have been determined not to accept the cease-fire demanded by America and Israel. We declared that the cease-fire should be conditional on Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.” The Israeli sources also noted that Col. Nasser’s reference to the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian Arabs was an Egyptian euphemism for Israel’s absorbing all of them, which would be tantamount to Israel suicide.) in the interview, President Nasser was asked how many Russians are in Egypt. He replied with a broad grin: “That is a secret.” Asked if they included pilots, he replied: “We have advisers.” Asked, “Do they fly?” he said: “Yes, of course. They train our pilots, so they have to fly.”

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