JERUSALEM (Oct. 23)
Premier Golda Meir accused Egypt tonight of premeditated violation of yesterday’s cease-fire agreement and warned Cairo that if it did not silence its guns, Israel’s army would feel free to take whatever action was required. Addressing a special session of the Knesset called to hear her report on the war, the Premier said that the fact that Egypt called for a meeting of the UN Security Council indicated that its violation of the cease-fire was premeditated and that the violator was now accusing the victim of the violation.
She stressed that Israel had accepted the cease-fire on a basis of complete reciprocity and still hoped that Egypt would comply fully with the terms of the agreement, but if it did not, “the Israel army will not be silent.”
Mrs. Meir also sought to allay fears of an impending imposed settlement. She said she had learned, from constant contact with the U.S. during the war that Washington has no plans regarding borders or other peace components. Further more, she said, Washington believes that the function of a state that has offered its good offices to the disputants was merely to bring the two sides to negotiations.
Premier Meir assured the Knesset that U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s talks in Moscow over the weekend did not go beyond arranging a cease-fire. She said she learned this from a very reliable account of the Moscow talks, apparently a reference to her talks with Dr. Kissinger here yesterday.
Reviewing the military situation, Mrs. Meir said that Israel’s position on both fronts were better than on Oct. 6. The area held on the west bank of the Suez Canal “opens both defensive and offensive possibilities for us and prevents Egypt threatening an offensive in Sinal,” she said. She observed that this area provided the army with a strong base for operational efforts should they prove necessary. Premier Meir said that Syria had still not accepted the cease-fire and fighting was continuing in the north.