By Friday (23 February) the Egyptian army had completed its re-occupation of the West Bank of the Suez Canal.
GV Egyptian army vehicle outside shelled building in Suez City
LV PAN Shell dholes in masonry of city (2 shots)
SV Egyptian Army vehicles pass
GV Ghana U.N. lorry passes
LV & CU Wrecked building at Kasfarit (4 shots)
SV Soldier on road probing for mines with Bitter Lakes in background
LV EXT Officers' club in Fayid
LV Correspondents waling into ruined building
CU & SV Wreckage
CU Remains of anti-personnel mine on grass
CU Unused rocket projectile
SV ZOOM FROM Officers' club doorway to ship on Bitter Lakes
LV Ship on lake with soldier probing for mine in foreground
CU Soldiers searching debris on water's edge
SV Partially submerged tank
LV Pier with ships in background
GV PAN Ships on pier
Initials BB/2303 DG/MR/BB/0020
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Background: By Friday (23 February) the Egyptian army had completed its re-occupation of the West Bank of the Suez Canal. The re-occupation followed Wednesday's final phase in the Israeli army's withdrawal from the pocket of territory they captured during the last few days of the October war.
By March the fifth the new Israeli front-line positions will be 12 miles (20 kms) out in the Sinai desert. The Suez Canal will cease to be a front line. Almost immediately, according to the Egyptian Minister for Reconstruction, Osman Ahmed Osman, work will begin to clear the canal for shipping again. Within six months, it is estimated, ships could be using the canal for the first time since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
The last area of the West Bank occupied by the Israelis included the Eastern shores of the Great Bitter Lake, where fourteen ships have been stranded since 1967, and the old British air force base of Fayid. The Egyptians found that the Israelis had had to abandon a great deal of equipment and stores in the last minute rush to meet the deadline agreed between the two armies in January.