UN troops replacing last Aqaba Israelis

JERUSALEM, March 8, 1957 (UP) - Troops of the United Nations Emergency Force today moved into the shattered fortress of Sharm El Sheikh on the Gulf of Aqaba. Israeli forces, who turned over the Gaza Strip yesterday, evacuated the base this morning although a few will return to ship out the last of their equipment.

As the UN marched in, Premier David Ben-Gurion's Mapai Party scheduled countrywide meetings to explain the withdrawal. But the General Zionists and Herut parties continued protest rallies and called for his resignation.


Opponents of the withdrawal feared that Egypt might use the fortress again to block Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Gaza Strip change-over was not without tragedy. Arab refugees who had fled into the Sinai Desert ahead of the Israeli army swarmed back into the strip across unmarked minefields. Many were reported killed or injured.

In Cairo, the newspaper Al Ahram said that withdrawal of the last Israeli troops meant the war was over and that the political battle had begun.

It predicted a political battle would rage over three issues - the Suez Canal itself, passage of Israeli shipping through the Gulf of Aqaba and the UN administration of the Gaza Strip.


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