December 28, 1977 – News from Ismailia, the latest in a series of seemingly endless talks and negotiations over a Peace settlement between the Israelis and Egyptians. Discussions on this day were about Menachem Begin’s 26-point peace plan, which he revealed at a meeting of the Knesset and how the ball was now in Egypt’s court.
The Israeli formula arrived at during the Ismailia talks called for self-rule in the Arab populated Gaza Strip and West Bank with only defense left in Israeli hands. The two areas would be administered by a locally elected eleven-member council that would be based in Bethlehem. The Sinai would be largely demilitarized and returned to Egyptian sovereignty, although the Jewish settlements already in existence in norther Sinai would be in Israeli jurisdiction and military protection; at least for the time being. However, close to 1,000 Israelis, most of them Sinai and West Bank settlements gathered in front of the Knesset to voice their opposition to the Begin plan. Inside the Parliament, Begin shared the limelight with Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, who had just returned from a secret mission abroad. It wasn’t certain with whom Dayan met, but bets were in favor that it was The Shah Of Iran.
In other news – former Attorney General and disgraced Watergate figure John Mitchell was released from Federal Prison at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery Alabama. Mitchell had been confined in the minimum security facility since June 22nd where he was serving a 1-4 year sentence for conspiring to cover up White House involvement in the Watergate affair. Attorney General Griffin Bell approved the furlough for Mitchell so private Orthopedic surgeons could determine if Mitchell needed a hip replacement or not. Ordinarily, prisoners would be transferred to the Federal Medical facility for inmates at Springfield Missouri if they had problems, but prison officials said such a move might not have been safe for Mitchell.
And the second major grain elevator disaster inside a week occurred in Galveston, where a series of explosions ripped through the base of a grain elevator, killing at least 10 and injuring 30 with three listed as missing. The explosions could be heard 50 miles away. A similar explosion occurred earlier in the week at a grain elevator near New Orleans, killing 34 people. No cause for either explosion had been established.
And that’s a little of what went on, this December 28 in 1977 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.