246. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1

199. For Secretary. Your message re genuineness Egyptian ceasefire desires delivered personally to Prime Minister2 with emphasis on fact you telephoned personally and matter was one of great importance and urgency.

He expressed great appreciation message but felt it necessary to comment on responsibility Egypt for what he termed “beastly and inhuman acts perpetrated on Israel citizens.” He said Egyptian gangs running wild in, through country. He appreciated your interest and expressed regret that he had to refer to Egyptian reprehensible actions. He promised to take up matter first thing in morning. He asked that I convey his respect and personal good wishes to you.

I shall report promptly Sharett’s comment as soon as received.3

Public feeling running high and we believe there is considerable activity in high government and military circles. Believe Israel attitude will be largely dominated by Egypt’s willingness accept ceasefire terms submitted through General Burns by GOI Tuesday evening.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/8–3155. Secret;Niact. Received at 3 a.m., September 1. Repeated niact to Cairo.
  2. See Document 242.
  3. Lawson transmitted the following message from Sharett to Dulles on September 1:

    “With reference your message last night, we shall undertake no action now and strict orders will be given to that effect provided that there are no acts of hostility on the other side; that is, shooting across the border, mining and acts of sabotage.”

    Lawson also reported that, in response to a question, the Acting Director General of the Israeli Foreign Office, who delivered the message, indicated that the Israeli Government hoped that Byroade would convey the message to Nasser and added that the Israeli Government had given Burns a similar message for Nasser. (Telegram 206 from Tel Aviv; Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/9–155)