For the first time in over a year, there have been no reports of fighting along the Suez Canal.
For the first time in over a year, there have been no reports of fighting along the Suez Canal. The U.N. cases-fire of 90 days has begun with both sides strictly observing the agreement, and the Israeli troops can afford to relax. But in Jerusalem there has been no relaxing as Arab guerrillas kept their promise to violate the cease-fire and fired rockets at Israeli targets.
Israeli troops in their canal-side position showed themselves outside their bunkers for the first time in more than three years. They relaxed playing games, reading papers or simply sun-bathing. But although there is relaxation, there is no withdrawal. The cease-fire, as Israel's Defence Minister, General Dayan has explained, it is no more than a freezing of the existing situation.
Along the canal no military changes will be made, no fortifications built and no additional missiles brought in, but either side for the duration of the cease-fire.
The bombed-out shell of El-Kantara on the Israeli-held eastern bank stands as a grim reminder of the thousands of hours of heavy artillery duels that have taken place across the canal.
The first the soldiers knew about the impending cease-fire was when Mrs. Gold Mein, the Israeli Prime Minister, announced it over the radio on Friday, four hours before it was due to come into force.
No incidents have so far been reported since the cease-fire came into operation at midnight on Friday (August 7).
However, Israel itself was not feeling the effects of the cease-fire. The Palestinian guerrilla organisations who promised to violate the agreement did so in major rocket attacks on some Israeli positions, along the three frontiers with Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
A commando spokesman in Amman claimed that guerrillas had killed or wounded at least 20 Israeli soldiers in a clash in the Jordan valley. Israel launched reprisal air-attacks against the guerrillas today (Sunday August 9) along the border areas.
In a clash with an Israeli patrol in the occupied Golan Heights, east of the sea of Galilee, two Arab guerrillas were killed and another eight captured, Israeli sources said.
Strict security precautions are in force as usual around Jerusalem and all transport entering Israel was checked by the border-police carefully.