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Israel’s Army Chief Reports to Cabinet Meeting on Syrian Shootings

February 15, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Major General Chaim Lasko, chief of staff of Israel’s defense forces, today reported to the entire Cabinet the events of the weekend, during which Syrians opened fire twice against Israeli patrols in the northern demilitarized zone, killing two men and injuring at least one other man seriously.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Mrs. Golds Meir, the Foreign Minister, also discussed the new outbreaks with the Cabinet. The first of the weekend attacks took place near Dardan, the second a few hundred yards away, at Ashmore. The firing came from Syrian military positions overlooking the Hupeh area and the narrow demilitarized zone.

In both instances, the Israelis demanded of the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission that a cease-fire be effected at once, but the Syrians continued shooting. After felling the Israeli border patrolmen, the Syrians followed through with machine gun fire.

Following the reports on the shootings, the Cabinet heard today from Mr. Ben-Gurion the outline of an address he expects to make in the Keenest (Parliament) tomorrow, rejecting motions by members of opposition parties who demand that military controls be lifted in Israeli areas inhabited by Arabs.

The Prime Minister will tell Parliament that the military restrictions cannot be relaxed now because Egyptian agents have been increasing their subversive activities in the Arab-populated areas. Mr. Ben-Gurion will point out that, in the last year, some 400 to 500 Arab youths had left Israeli territory clandestinely, to go over into Arab-held areas across the borders. However, he will recall that Arabs inside Israel have recently been given greater freedom of movement during daylight hours.

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