A year ago Egypt and Israel signed an agreement which froze their military dispositions in the Sinai desert.
GV PAN ACROSS: Sinai desert.
SV PAN FORM: UN soldier by vehicle to Sinai pass.
LV: Israeli installations at end of Gidi pass.
LV: Egyptians installations at other end of pass
SV PAN FROM: desert to US observation post.
SV INTERIOR: US observer looking through binoculars and making notes and checking graph. (2 shots)
SCU: bedouins seated on ground in desert
CU: Bedouin woman making bread ZOOM OUT TO Bedouin camp
SV: Bedouin camel train being led into pass for water.
SV: tank carrier along road pass UN check point. (2 shots)
GV PAN ACROSS: Sinai desert with patrol passing along road. (2 shots)
DELANEY: "The Siani is bleak and hostile and useless, except as a battlefield. The army which controls its passes controls the entire desert and can threaten either Egypt or Israel. Now, the U.N. controls the passes, and the opposing armies are kept out. The Israelis sit at one end of the Gidi pass and aim their electronics at Egypt, to make sure the Egyptians stay out. And the Egyptians have a similar post at the other end of the pass and they watch the Israelis. Right in the middle are 164 civilian Americans, whose job it is to keep track of what happens at both those early warning stations, and to make sure that nothing moves through the passes without permission.k It is a lonely job. It means long hours at isolated watch stations, looking out over the hard landscape and reading the instruments which detect anything that moves through the passes. Most of the violations they have found are form Bedouin tribesmen.
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Background: A year ago Egypt and Israel signed an agreement which froze their military dispositions in the Sinai desert. The agreement has worked because there has not been an outbreak of hostilities, and the vital Gidi and Mitla passes have remained quiet. This is partly because the Israelis and Egyptians have been watching each other, and partly because the United States observer force has been watching both of them. Steve Delaney reports on the three-cornered desert stand-off.
SYNOPSIS: The desert men who call themselves the Free People do not recognise the nuances of international diplomacy, or any flags. To them freedom means the ability to wander where they want to go. And where they want to go is into the passes, because there's water there. The United Nations has spent a lot of time chasing them out. That is perhaps the most consistent and serious of the violations reported to date. And all that means the agreement is working, because the countries involved want it to work. But the Sinai is still a contested area, Egypt and Israel are not at peace, and the passes are still vital. As long as they are, there will be work in the Sinai for the United Nations force, and for the Americans who sit between the two opposing armies.