JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
Anxiety mounted today that Egypt has moved troops into the 32-mile cease-fire zone where, according to Israeli intelligence, it has been installing new SAM missiles, completing unfinished missile sites and repairing damaged ones since the cease-fire went into effect Aug. 7. According to Israeli circles, the Egyptian moves are premeditated. The first phase is to establish SAM missiles in the cease-fire zone in violation of the standstill elements of the cease-fire. The second phase is to bring troops into the zone, under protection of the anti-aircraft missiles should the shooting resume. Israelis believe Egypt intends to mass troops for a push across the Suez Canal should the 90-day cease-fire end before there is a peace settlement. The reluctance of the United States to take a firm stand on Israel’s charges of cease-fire violations has angered many Israelis. Some circles here implied that Washington was hedging by asking for more time to study the evidence supplied by Israeli intelligence. They said it took the U.S. only one day–Oct. 14-15, 1962–to determine that Russian missiles had been installed in Cuba after they were photographed by U-2 reconnaissance planes. The U.S. reportedly is employing the high altitude U-2s in cease-fire surveillance over the Suez Canal zone.
There was no comment today on foreign press reports that the U.S. has agreed to provide Israel with “compensation” for violations of the cease-fire. According to the French newspaper, Le Figaro, the Nixon administration has assured Israel that it would not be permitted to emerge from the cease-fire in a militarily weakened position. Meanwhile the movement toward peace talks under United Nations special envoy Gunnar V. Jarring has stalled. Foreign Minister Abba Eban implied at his press conference yesterday that talks on the ambassadorial level would not be regarded by Israel as bona-fide negotiations. Egypt and Jordan have named their permanent representatives to the United Nations as their representatives at the Jarring talks. Israel insists on a higher diplomatic level if the talks are to be serious. Israel has named no representative but has indicated that it would like the talks to take place at the foreign ministerial level. The Israelis say that they have already yielded enough and the time has come for the Arabs to make concessions. They refer to the omission of Israel’s terms of acceptance of the American peace initiative from the document reactivating Dr. Jarring’s peace mission and to the alleged Soviet-Egyptian violation of the standstill cease-fire. The Arabs are also insisting on UN headquarters in New York as the site of the peace talks while Israel prefers a site close to the Middle East.