The Israelis claim they have regained ground lost to the Egyptians in the Sinai desert since the fighting in the Middle East began.
The Israelis claim they have regained ground lost to the Egyptians in the Sinai desert since the fighting in the Middle East began. On Wednesday (10th October), Israel Radio Reported that an Israeli armoured column had reached the edge of the Suez Canal and had joined up with an Israeli unit which had been cut off there since the beginning of the war.
The Egyptians, however, say their forces have been pushing further into the desert. On Wednesday (10th October), the fifth day of the fighting, Egyptian troops were still crossing the Suez Canal in force at the southern end of the waterway.
Correspondents crossed the canal and drove some three miles (5 kms) into the sinai desert with the Egyptian troops. The Israelis have barred journalists from the front, but this film of the Israelis moving in supplies and taking out their wounded, was shot form the Israeli side. a correspondent with the Israeli troops said there was no evidence they were in retreat, as the Egyptians had claimed.
Before the battle, the devout among the Israeli soldiers tied on phylacteries to symbolise their devotion and ask God's protection. On the other side, the Egyptians were crying "Allahhu Akhbar" - God is great, as they crossed the Canal.
SYNOPSIS: In the Sinal desert, the Israelis have been moving men and supplies towards the Suez Canal, preparing for what looks like being a long tough battle with the Egyptians. By Wednesday night, Israel Radio was reporting that some of her forces had got through to the edge of the Canal, where thee ceasefire line was established after the 1967 War.
This film of the Israeli troops is taken on the road to the desert front. A journalist with the troops said he saw no evidence that the Israeli forces were retreating, as the Egyptians have claimed.
The fighting in the desert has been fierce, and the casualties have been high on both sides, although no figures have been released by either.
On wednesday the Egyptians said they had bombed the Israeli Command headquarters on the northern coast of Sinai, inflicting heavy casualties. Fierce tank battles were fought in the desert on Tuesday, but little tank activity was reported the following day.
The Israeli Commander on the Egyptian front warned his troops they were fighting the fiercest and most prolonged war of Israel's existence.
Buses have been mobilised behind the Israeli lines to take in supplies. The Sinai is largely uninhabited and apart from some airdrops, most of the supplies are going in by road.
There has been little rest for the soldiers since the fighting began. The devout tied on p???acteries - they symbolise their devotion, and ask God's protection in the coming battles.
Egyptian communiques on Tuesday said that 102 Israeli tanks had been destroyed on the East Bank of the Suez. Several hundred Egyptian tanks are reported to have crossed the waterway.
On Wednesday, the Egyptians said they had captured 12 Israeli tanks and had taken more prisoners - although they did not say how many
Israeli Phantoms can be seen crossing the desert on their way to strike at Egyptian targets.
The strip of sand that the Israelis gained in the 1967 war has proved a useful buffer for the civilian population of Israel further inland.
So far the fighting has not come near the inhabited areas - a factor that increases Israeli reluctance to part with this territory providing they succeed in holding it in the current war.