MIDDLE EAST: The Battle of El Auja

The sound of clash and the rumor of war rumbled through the Middle East. Would the Israelis—1,500,000 people ringed around by 40 million Arab enemies —attack before the Egyptians could use the shiploads of arms the Communists had sold them? Last week the Israelis struck the bloodiest blow since the 1949 armistice. But what at first looked like the beginning of the worst turned out at week's end to be not a preventive war but one quick, calculated ounce of prevention.

For weeks guns have been going off around El Auja, the sun-blasted crossroads on the rocky southern route which...

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