In Sinai' the people of the unofficial capital El Arish staged an enthusiastic welcome on Monday (7 May) for Egyptian and Israeli negotiators meeting to finalise details of the return of the town to Egypt later this month.
GV: of Mosque in El Arish and PAN TO Poster depicting President Sadat.
GVs: crowds cheering and waving Egyptian flags and holding picture of Sadat. (2 shots)
SV: Egyptian civilian experts arriving for meeting.
GV INTERIOR: commission members arriving and sitting down (3 shots)
CU: Israeli's Brigadier-General Dov Sion talking to meeting as Egyptian members listen.
GV: newsmen listen to General Sion.
SCU: Egypt's Brigadier Seif e-Din Shanab speaking to Commission.
GV: newsmen and observers applauding.
GV EXTERIOR: Israeli flag flying at building ZOOM OUT TO crowds
SVs: Israeli and Egyptian officers talking outside after meeting. (4 shots)
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Background: In Sinai' the people of the unofficial capital El Arish staged an enthusiastic welcome on Monday (7 May) for Egyptian and Israeli negotiators meeting to finalise details of the return of the town to Egypt later this month. Military and civilian officials of the joint Egyptian-Israeli commission were meeting for the second time to prepare for Israel's withdrawal from all of Sinai during the next three years.
SYNOPSIS: The handover of El Arish will be the first major result of the historic peace treaty signed by Egyptian President Menachem Begin. For the residents of the town it was their first direct contact with Egyptian officials after twelve years of Israeli occupation, and there were scenes of mass celebration.
On the second day of talks, Egyptian civilian commissioners discussed the handover of the town's schools, hospitals and clinics. The first meeting of the joint commission was held in March in the United Nations buffer zone in the Sinai.
Brigadier-General Dov Sion, the leader of the Israeli military delegation announced the talks had gone smoothly and that most issues had been resolved. The commissioners had discussed the exact demarcation lines for El Arish and had decide to establish direct communications between the town and Egypt. Brigadier Seif e-Din Shanab, the head of the Egyptian delegation, gave further details of the negotiations. Another issue was the possibility of allowing Jewish settlements in nearby Yamit to continue to receive piped El Arish water.
President Sadat Prime Minister Begin will meet in El Arish in May the 27th, two days after the Israeli occupation formally ends. The town has undergone a major sanitation and cleaning project in preparation for the visit. The Israeli and Egyptian delegations included news correspondents who were give a conducted tour of the town's sites until the ecstatic crowd packed the central streets and forced the bus to return to the Committee building.