Israel has been called on the United States to ensure a pull-back of Soviet-Egyptian missiles batteries which, it claims, have been deployed in the Suez Canal area in violation of the Middle East ceasefire.
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Background: Israel has been called on the United States to ensure a pull-back of Soviet-Egyptian missiles batteries which, it claims, have been deployed in the Suez Canal area in violation of the Middle East ceasefire.
Israel's intention to get the United States assurances was announced at a meeting of the Knesset on Thursday (August 13) by Defence Minister General Moshe Dayan. It was the first official Israeli confirmation of reports that Egypt had moved Sam-2 and Sam-3 batteries closer to the Canal after the ceasefire had begun at midnight last Friday (August 7).
The Israeli request was seen as a move putting the onus firmly on the US as to whether the ceasefire was to continue and the American Middle East Peace Plan to surmount its first major obstacle.
It seemed that the peace plan was in danger of being frozen, at least temporarily, by the israeli's. Observers felt that until the status quo had been restored Israel might suspend active participation in the "stop shooting, start talking" scheme.
General Dayan claimed that the Egyptian move-up came within hours of the truce beginning. The missiles, he said, were located at specific points for which map references had been given and were in an area extending from 12 to 18 miles (20-30 kilometres) west of the Canal.