WEST BANK, SUEZ CANAL (Jan. 27)
Israeli forces today renewed their withdrawal from the western bank of the Suez Canal after a respite yesterday for the Sabbath. The withdraw al which officially began Friday has been dubbed “The Great Pullout” by Israeli soldiers as hundreds of tanks, half-tanks, troop carriers and trucks, loaded with men and equipment, are moving eastward across the canal. The roads in southern Sinai are jammed with the heavy traffic caused by the pullout.
According to plans, the last Israeli soldier to leave the first cleared area will be a liaison officer with the United Nations and he will inform the UN forces at 8 a.m. tomorrow that the withdrawal has been completed. The UN forces will then step in and six hours later will turn the territory over to the Egyptians. A similar procedure will take place at noon at Kilometer 101.
On Thursday, when the disengagement of forces was worked out, Israeli and Egyptian-based journalists were permitted to mingle for the first time and there were frequent political discussions between Israeli and Egyptian newsmen. Israeli troops have greeted the withdrawal with great joy. It was reported that one group of Israelis was trying to organize a soccer game with Egyptian soldiers before there is total disengagement.