Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Egypt Ignoring Latest Israel Complaints of Sinai Accord Violations

September 12, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Egypt apparently has chosen to ignore Israel’s latest complaint that it has seriously violated the 1975 Sinai interim agreements. Gen. Ensio Siilasvuo, commander of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) returned from Cairo Friday with no reply to Israel’s charge that Egypt was deploying 18,000 troops in its limited forces zone, 10,000 more than permitted by the agreements.

Defense Minister Ezer Weizman summoned Siilasvuo last week to lodge the complaint. The UN commander promised to relay it to Egyptian War Minister Gen. Mohammed Gamasy. He was not received by Gamasy in Cairo but referred to an Egyptian officer of lower rank, a regional commander, who claimed Gamasy was on leave. Israeli circles have taken a serious view of this attitude but official sources have refused to comment on the situation.


Meanwhile, Gen. (Res.) Shmuel Gonen, the Israeli commander in Sinai when the Yom Kippur War broke out, claimed that the situation there today bears a dangerous resemblance to that of Oct. 1973. Gonen, who was removed from his command in the early stages of the war and subsequently held responsible by the Agranat Committee for some of Israel’s initial setbacks, sounded his warning in a radio interview to be broadcast on Yom Kippur night.

He maintained that Israel was once again swallowing the “bait” that the Arabs seek peace, not war. He said that on the eve of the Yom Kippur War the Arabs spread stories of their rift with the Russians and the deterioration of their missile launchers for want of spare parts. Now they spread stories that they lack engines for their MIGs, he said, but reading between the lines it becomes apparent that the Soviet Union has released some 50 MIG engines to the Egyptians.

Gonen declared: “I do not buy the truth of the Libyan-Egyptian conflict nor do I regard as genuine the seeming conflict between Egypt and Russia or Syria and Russia. I have a strong feeling that the situation is such that an attack on us is very possible. I am sure we shall be attacked. I do not know when.”

Recommended from JTA