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De Facto Truce Extension Will Nullity Standstill Agreement

Political circles here conceded today that if the Suez cease-fire is extended beyond its Thursday (Nov. 5) deadline by de facto agreement rather than a formal agreement, it would be pointless for Israel to complain any further about Egyptian violations of the standstill aspects of the truce. The circles noted that Egypt and Israel will no longer be bound by the truce provisions which forbade any alteration of the military position in the truce zone–provisions which Israel claims Egypt has violated repeatedly by the introduction of Soviet missiles into the standstill zone after the cease-fire went into effect last Aug. 7. If the cease-fire is extended by de facto agreement, Egypt will be legally free to move any number of missiles it chooses into the canal zone. Israeli complaints, while valid, would be meaningless, the circles pointed out, inasmuch as Israel has pledged that it will not be the first to start shooting. Israel will continue to consider itself bound by the cease-fire of June, 1967 that ended the Six-Day War. That agreement contained no standstill provisions. There has been no official comment so far on what Israel would do if Egypt continued its missile build-up in the canal zone but refrained from opening fire.

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