Tel Aviv (Nov. 2)
Israeli circles said today that there was no information to confirm reports published in the United States that Israel was beefing up its Bar-Lev line on the east bank of the Suez Canal to create a springboard for future offensive action against Egypt. The circles refused to comment on the implications which the reports stressed of Israel’s unreadiness to withdraw from the canal. They said this was a purely political question. Nevertheless, it was generally acknowledged that Israel is strengthening its fortifications along the waterway but this is justified by the heavy armaments including 203 mm. Russian artillery deployed on the Egyptian side.
Sources here point out that Israel must consider not only Egypt’s deadlines for ending the cease-fire but the possibility that shooting could resume at any time. It would be foolhardy not to be prepared for any eventuality, especially as the Egyptians have made no secret of their plans to cross the Suez Canal, the sources said. The canal, however, remains quiet. The Egyptians continue to fortify their positions. But Egyptian soldiers move around without helmets or weapons and many try to fish in the canal waters in plain view of Israeli soldiers.