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Broadcast to the Nation by Prime Minister Meir

(August 7, 1970)

On the evening of 7 August, an agreement was reached with the United States that the cease-fire along the Suez Canal would come into effect at midnight, 7 August, Israel time. At 8 pm, the Prime Minister broadcast the following speech to the people of Israel:

I am happy to announce to the people of Israel that a general cease-fire between ourselves and Egypt will come into effect today. This cease-fire, attained at the initiative of the United States Government, will commence at 24.00 hours, and will affect all forces on both sides of the cease-fire line.

In my address to the Knesset last Tuesday, I announced the Government's decision to reply affirmatively to the US Government's proposal concerning a cease-fire between ourselves and Egypt. Our affirmative reply to this proposal came after we had reached the conviction that the cease-fire would become effective on conditions which would prevent its being abused.

Israel was prepared to adhere strictly to the cease-fire arrangements as laid down at the end of the Six-Day War, in accordance with the Security Council Resolution of June 1967. Egypt, however, to our great regret, consistently violated its undertaking and even publicly declared that it no longer recognized its obligation to observe the cease-fire. Now the Government of Egypt has announced its agreement to a renewal of the cease-fire in accordance with the terms agreed upon between the Governments concerned and the US Government, and we welcome this announcement.

Israel, for its part, declares its complete readiness to maintain the cease-fire arrangements meticulously in all their provisions, on a basis of reciprocity.

Citizens of Israel: At the end of the Six-Day War, we agreed to the UN cease-fire resolution, in the hope that it would not be long before negotiations would begin between Israel and its neighbours on a just and lasting peace. That hope has not yet been fulfilled, but the people and their Government have never given up their readiness and their efforts to achieve this desired peace.

It is my hope that the cease-fire which begins today will be observed continuously by the other side, until peace is concluded between our countries. Israel, for its part, would like to regard the cease-fire as a natural stage to be observed on the road to a contractual peace established on defensible, agreed borders between us and Egypt. In the absence of peace, Israel will, of course, continue to maintain in full the situation as established at the time of the cease-fire, and will spare no effort needed to advance the development of the State, so that it should be able to face the trials awaiting it under all circumstances.

We have reached this stage due to our military steadfastness and our political struggle. Ahead of us still lie difficult trials, and what we need is great internal unity, founded on the assurance that our way is the right one.

With all our profound desire that the cease-fire - and not only on this front alone - should be a first step towards peace, we must remember that our road to peace is still a long and hard one.

On the threshold of the cease-fire between us and Egypt, the Government of Israel sends out its greetings to all the soldiers of Israel's Defence Army, on land, at sea and in the air. To our soldiers who are prisoners of war, and to all our front-line settlements, we send our blessing coupled with the deepest gratitude for the courage and resourcefulness they have shown, and are showing day by day. We bless them and send our love to each one of them, in the hope that, as in the past, so also in the future, they will continue to fulfil their tasks successfully in defending the security, independence and prosperity of Israel at all times.


Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs