Egypt has transferred the headquarters of her fedayeen command from Gaza to El Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, to keep the United Nations Emergency Force from discovering the movement of fedayeen gangs, the Israel press reported today.
The report points out that the transfer of fedayeen headquarters contradicts Egyptian statements to UNEF commander Maj. Gen. E. L. M. Burns that it has dispersed all fedayeen units and Palestinian Arab formations. It asserts that Palestinian and fedayeen recruits are receiving specialized commando training at a base in the Suez Canal zone and will later be returned to the El Arish camp.
Foreign Ministry circles dismissed Egyptian claims that the fedayeen units had been disbanded. The marauders may be less active, these circles said, but they are still operating from the Gaza Strip and the numerous mine ambuscades along the Strip are obviously the work of trained fedayeen. It is possible that the units have been dispersed, the Foreign Ministry sources grant, but the organization with its officers still exists.
Increased infiltration activities were noted in the Gaza Strip border area last night even as to infiltrators were killed and two others fled back to the Strip when they were intercepted by an Israeli patrol. The patrol fired on the infiltrators when they ignored a call to halt. The two who were killed wore khaki and had food for two or three days.
Army officials said that infiltration into Negev settlements has increased recently and that in several cases the infiltrators were prevented from stealing agricultural equipment by settlement guards. Israelis believe that the increase in cross-border raiding results from the recent order by Maj. Gen. E.L. M. Burns, commander of the United Nations Emergency Force, to his troops not to fire on infiltrators unless they are attacked. The Israelis feel that as a result, the raiders are emboldened because the danger to them is cut in half as they cross the demarcation line and UNEF control of the territory on the Gaza side offers them a refuge if they are discovered by Israeli security forces.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.