Foreign pressmen were allowed into the city of Qantara, on the east bank of the Suez Canal on Saturday (8 December).
Foreign pressmen were allowed into the city of Qantara, on the east bank of the Suez Canal on Saturday (8 December). The city, in the northern sector of the Sinai fronting the Canal, was Israeli occupied until the October war. On the fourth day of the war, Egyptian soldiers moved into the city.
The foreign visitors saw few eigns that Qantara residents had moved back into their homes. Most were evacuated from the city in 1968 by the Israelis, and were living in El Arish, 100 miles (160 kms) away.
Egyptian troop carriers and trucks were still trundling across the pontoons and bridges built across the Canal during the war. At the entrance to the city stood reminders of the oft he conflict -- the graves of soldiers who'd lost their lives in the fierce tank battles that marked the war in the Sinai Desert. An Egyptian flag flew over the area, and pressmen saw the ruined fortifications that made up the Bar Lev lins. The line caved in under the impact of Egyptian air and artillery barrages, according to reports issued during the war.