By Edmond Jabès

Literature/Jewish reports, tr Rosmarie Waldrop

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But this force had its own problems, even before the British and French bombed Egypt's airfields on the 31st. During daylight hours on the 30th and 31st, the Israeli Air Force—perhaps aided by the French—attacked the EgypFoundered Egyptian tanks tian armor, inflicting much damage. 74 Thus, the Egyptian armor force, weakened in firepower, had lost much of its ability to break through to Abu Ageila and rescue the defenders there. By the evening of 1 November, the tactical situation had become desperate for Mutawalli.

By late morning of 1 November—even before the Egyptian 6th Brigade began its withdrawal—Dayan suspended operations, leaving the fortifications surrounded but unpressed by attacks. New missions went out to the various Israelis units. The bulk of the 7th Armored Brigade, already west of Gebel Libni, was instructed to continue its advance toward the Suez Canal. The 61st Infantry Battalion (motorized) was to remain south of Umm Qatef under the control of the 10th Brigade and its new commander, Colonel Israel Tal.

In the next conflict, Israel might not be so fortunate. She could not count on coalition warfare and might even face war on more than one front. Such proved to be the case, but fortunately for the Israelis, the IDF prepared well for this eventuality, drawing in part on its 1956 experience.

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