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New Arab Provocations on Israel Frontiers; U.N. Chief Blames Egypt

June 21, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two hand grenades were thrown through the windows of a house near the Jordan border this morning, but miraculously injured no one, it was announced here. The grenades exploded in a room in which three adults and two small girls were sleeping in a house at Neve Yamin, near Kfar Saba.

An army spokesman also revealed that all telephone lines and the water pipeline to Kissufim, an Israel settlement near the Gaza strip border, were severed last night by infiltrators from Egyptian territory. Kissufim is located some two miles from the frontier.

Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, United Nations truce chief, today blamed large concentrations of Arab refugees in the Gaza strip for the current tension along the Israel-Egyptian border. He deplored broadcasts and newspaper articles on either side which incited toward violence or favored solution of the present situation through force. He said that he thought that the friction was caused chiefly by marauding from Arab territory and maneuvers by Israel forces close to the borders.

Gen. Burns forwarded to the Egyptians today an Israel plan for re-establishing security along the Gaza strip border. The plan calls for: the erection of a barrier more than 300 feet wide, mined throughout and laced with barbed wire on both sides of the minefield; the mine barrier would be patrolled by joint military patrols under UN command; regular meetings between local commanders on both sides and direct telephonic communications between the two commanders, and issuance of orders to Egyptian troops not to fire on Israel patrols moving about in Israel territory near the border.

(In London today, the Daily Telegraph reported from Jerusalem that the Israel Cabinet had agreed to a “medium level” conference of Israel and Egyptian officers under the chairmanship of Gen. Burns. This action, the Telegraph said, followed Egyptian rejection of Israel proposals–with the support of the United States and Britain–for high level talks. The parley is expected to discuss Gen. Burns’ program for reducing tension and the proposals already put forth by both sides.)

Meanwhile, the Israel-Egyptian Mixed Armistice Commission censured Israel yesterday for an incident on May 20 when Israelis were charged with firing on Arab shepherds and a flock of sheep inside Egyptian territory in the Gaza strip.

An Egyptian infiltrator from the village of Joulis has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment after trial on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and attempting to blow up a building. Sentence was passed by a military tribunal sitting at Ramleh.

The convicted infiltrator was one of a party of five which entered Israel from the Gaza strip last September and carried out a number of attacks. Among the crimes were the wounding of an Israel tractor driver, the blowing up of houses at Moshav Hazev, and the robbery of a number of farmers and burglary of houses in the Rishon le Zion area.

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