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Preparing for Peace on Two Fronts

Israel is preparing for the new era of peace with Egypt on two fronts–autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the first stage of withdrawal from Sinai which will begin with the return of El Arish to Egyptian sovereignty on May 26.

A ranking official of the Military Government, Gen. Danny Matt, has begun contacts with public figures in the Gaza Strip on the autonomy plan. Matt, who is chief coordinator of operations in the administered territories, will also meet shortly with Arab notables on the West Bank. His purpose is to solicit the opinions of local leaders on the various aspects of the autonomy plan. The II-man ministerial committee assigned the task of drafting an autonomy program will begin its meetings shortly.

Meanwhile, plans for the evacuation of El Arish, the administrating capital of Sinai, are proceeding at an accelerated pace. Israel intends to permit Arab workers from El Arish to retain their jobs in Israel even after the town reverts to Egyptian rule.

Similarly, El Arish children may continue to attend summer camps in Israel. Local Arabs employed by the Israeli Military Government will be given severance pay or they may continue to work for the Egyptian administration. Israel will provide the Egyptians with a list of these employes and the salaries due them.

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