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Report Thwarting Terrorist Plot Against Cairo Airport

Egyptian security services reportedly have arrested seven Palestinians who were planning to blow up the main terminal building at Cairo airport. The unconfirmed report was cabled to newspapers here by Israeli journalists in Cairo. The journalists hold non-Israeli passports.

The reported sabotage plot strengthened the belief in Israeli circles that the recent pull-back of Egyptian army units from Sinai and the Suez Canal zone was necessitated by the possibility of protests, including violence, against President Anwar Sadat’s recent peace initiatives.

The troops, including two battalions previously deployed in the limited forces zone in Sinai, have been stationed at military camps near Cairo and other Egyptian cities in what is regarded as a precautionary measure. Initially, it was believed that Egyptian units were withdrawn from Sinai entirely as a political move in keeping with Sadat’s peace overtures. Israel had been complaining for months that Egypt had more troops in the limited forces zone than are allowed under the 1975 interim agreement.

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