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Guri Egypt May Reopen Fire Across Canal; Cost to Israel Would Be Greater Than Before

Gen. Mordechai Gur, conqueror of the Old City of Jerusalem and now commander of Israel’s Northern Command, said here over the weekend that Egypt might reopen fire across the Suez Canal at any time, and that “if this happened the cost to Israel would be greater than that of previous wars, though the outcome was not in doubt.” Delivering the keynote address to a meeting of 400 chairmen and key workers at a national conference of the Joint Palestine Appeal, Gur explained that if Egypt gained some initial success in a new cross-canal attack, Jordan and Syria might be tempted to enter the fray. But, he continued, Israel had learned from her experiences in 1948, 1956 and 1967 and was prepared for such a contingency. The conference was also addressed by Israeli Ambassador Michael S. Company, who declared: “Israel is not prepared to be rushed, bullied or cajoled into commitments which would endanger her security. We need strong nerves and patience.” JPA chairman Michael Sacher, who presided over the meeting, said of the organization’s 1971 fund-raising campaign: “There is a new set of needs in Israel and we cannot fail to respond to them. This demands from us both time and material resources, dedication and self-sacrifice.”

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