Egyptian authorities allowed a party of foreign newsmen their first glimpse of the ruined city of Ismailia, on the west bank of the Suez Canal, this week.
GV Journalists touring deserted street.
SV Wrecked building.
MV Local boy on donkey.
SV Journalists continue tour past wreckage.
SV ZOOM out street in town.
SV Traffic along road.
SV Men walking along road.
SV Wreckage and journalists walking around
GV Wreckage of building at side of canal.
GV Israeli outpost ZOOM BACK TO canal.
Initials SGM/2339 VS/23.43
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Egyptian authorities allowed a party of foreign newsmen their first glimpse of the ruined city of Ismailia, on the west bank of the Suez Canal, this week. Cameraman Hassan Dahish covered the assignment for Visnews, and brought back a record of desolation -- a city nearly annihilated by past artillery duels across the Canal.
The only sign of the reported large-scale military build-up since the Middle East ceasefire expired earlier this month was an Israeli outpost on the canal's east bank.
SYNOPSIS: Seven days after the Middle East ceasefire expired, the Egyptian authorities allowed newsmen a chance to visit the desolate city of Ismailia on the west bank of the Suez Canal. Few people still live in this city of ruins, where wrecked buildings are the legacy of more than two years of artillery duels across the canal.
Despite reports that Egyptian forces along the canal are in a state of utmost readiness, there was little sign of the reported large-scale military build up. But the Egyptians have rejected a reported Israeli suggestion the forces be withdrawn sixteen miles from the canal to allow the re-opening of the waterway.
The only sign of the military presence was this Israeli outpost across the Canal on the east bank. At present, heavy international pressures weigh on Israel to return territory occupied in the 1967 war. But at least, while the talking continues, there's been no new outbreak of fighting since the ceasefire ended.