Dayan Warns Hostilities May Resume on Egyptian Front

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan warned Israelis today not to be surprised if hostilities resume on the Egyptian front. The Egyptians are thoroughly uncomfortable with the presence of an Israeli force on the west bank of the Suez Canal and may initiate an offensive to dislodge it. Dayan said in reply to reporters who questioned him while he was visiting wounded soldiers at a Tel Aviv hospital.

Dayan accused the Egyptians and Syrians of using Israel’s concern for the POWs as a means of pressure. Deals had been made with Egypt for the exchange of wounded POWs–there were some dozens of Israeli wounded and many many hundreds of Egyptians–but each time Egypt harked back to its demand for withdrawal to the Oct. 22 line and refused to go through with the deal, Dayan said. He had announced in the Knesset Tuesday that an exchange of wounded POWs with Egypt was under way.

Earlier today, Knesset Speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu announced that he had cabled all parliaments in the world protesting Egypt’s and Syria’s noncompliance with the Geneva Convention on POWs. He demanded that the parliaments persuade Arabs to transmit lists of names, permit Red Cross visits, permit POWs to correspond with home, protect POWs from attacks or curiosity by the populace and free wounded POWs as required by the 1949 Geneva Convention.

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