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Police Units Guarding Oil Fields

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A special border police unit has been dispatched to the Abu Rodeis oilfields in southwestern Sinai to prevent irresponsible parties from interfering with the orderly transfer of the equipment and installations to Egypt, it was disclosed today. The oilfields are expected to be the first area evacuated by Israel under terms of the interim accord with Egypt signed last month. Israeli and Egyptian teams are currently at work in Geneva to draft the detailed military protocols that will implement the agreement.

The dispatch of the special unit with strict instructions followed top level consultations in Jerusalem on means to avoid a repetition of instances in which unauthorized parties destroyed property that should have been transferred to Syria under the terms of the 1974 Israeli-Syrian disengagement agreement on the Golan Heights.

It was in that context that Premier Yitzhak Rabin said over the weekend that he does not wish a repetition of Kuneitra, the Golan Heights town evacuated by Israel last year. Although initially denied by Israel, it was learned subsequently that destruction of property occurred in Kuneitra without the authorization or knowledge of the Israeli authorities.

It was learned, meanwhile, that Israel plans to test Egypt’s undertaking to permit its cargoes to pass through the Suez Canal shortly. But shipping companies have been instructed by the authorities to avoid publicizing that event should it occur. Sources said that at the moment there is no foreign-flag ship bound for Israel with cargo from the Far East or East Africa which could be used to test the Egyptian undertaking.

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