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Egypt Preparing for New Hostilities

An Israeli army spokesman said today that Israel has clear indications that Egypt is readying its forces for a resumption of hostilities. His statement came a few hours after an Egyptian spokesman announced that the Egyptian army had been placed on war deployment again. The Israeli spokesman, Col. Nachman Kani, did not elaborate but said that the Israel Defense Force was taking the situation seriously.

The Israeli assessment of the situation today pointed to an aggravation of the situation as compared to several days ago. The Israeli public was informed a few days ago about tension on the Egyptian front but tonight the statement was laconic, indicating preparations by the Egyptians for a resumption of war.

Meanwhile, two incidents were reported today on the Egyptian front: an Egyptian company advanced along the Suez-Cairo road in the direction of the Israeli positions. UN observers intervened and the Egyptians returned to their perimeter. A half hour later, at I p.m. the Egyptian company again attempted to advance. Fire was opened – mainly light arms fire but a few mortars as well – and the Egyptians retreated, UN observers were present. A complaint was lodged by Israel.

On the Syrian front, for the first time in several days, two exchanges of fire were reported. At 1 p.m. the Syrians opened fire in the northernmost sector of the front line, north of Mazrat Beit Jan, It started with light arms and developed into artillery fire. After 15 minutes quiet returned. But a half hour later the Syrians again opened artillery fire in the northern sector. Fire was returned and the exchange again lasted 15 minutes.

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