The hottest spot along the Suez Canal is the town of Kantara, split by the canal along its southern tip.
ls city & damaged bldgs, or standup
bldg with aerials, see in shot after boat arrives, before truck with bodies arrives
Israeli soldiers, standing around
RED CROSS GUYS CARRY FLAG
see flag other side
Egyptian crewmen cus
by launch, Egyptians take over
troops at attn, cu faces
see soldiers across river, boat
more Egyptian side
jeep pulling out
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The hottest spot along the Suez Canal is the town of Kantara, split by the canal along its southern tip. Artillery duelling along this area has caused most of the Israeli casualties so far. But for a short while on Thursday the shelling stopped. Here is a report etc...
After six months of heavy shelling, Kantara is a dead city. The 15-thousand people who lived here have been moved back deeper into the Sinai, to another desert.town Those buildings that are left are empty shells...this one used to be United Nations Headquarters.
The only inhabitants now are Israeli soldiers, who spend most of their time underground... But on this day, for a few moments, it was quiet.
The Red Cross had arranged for a brief cease fire, long enough for the Israelis to hand over to the Egyptians the body of nine Egyptian soldiers.
This was not the first time a transfer of bodies had been attempted...once before it was tried, but it didn't work because the Egyptians opened fire, in spite of the truce. So there was some uneasiness. Israeli soldiers marched openly to the side of the canal; -- an honour guard, but they were well armed in case anything happened.
Another Red Cross flag was displayed on the Egyptian side, and an Egyptian launch approached the Israeli landing Israeli soldiers and Egyptian crewmen stood almost face to face.
The dead Egyptian soldiers up were part of a commando unit that had tried to attack an Israeli outpost on the canal a few days before. But the attack failed, according to Israeli reports.
Briefly, some Egyptians stepped down on the Israeli side to shoulder the caskets. For a few seconds, the burden was carried by both sides, as the casket went on board.
Nothing was said. The Israeli soldiers stood stiffly at attention.
Across the river, an Egyptian honour guard waited, to accept the dead soldiers...Egypt claimed the attack had been successful, and the outpost wiped out.
This curious time out in the war lasted about a half hour.
Everyone asks how long this can go on, this battle of the Suez Canal, and the Israelis talk not in terms of months but in terms of years. Unless all out war should break out again. David Burrington, NBC News, on the Suez Canal.