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U.S. Maritime Commission Denies Knowledge of Negotiations for Selling Ships to Israel

The U.S. Maritime Commission today denied a report emanating from the Zim shipping company in Tel Aviv in which the company announced that it is acquiring two ships through the Maritime Commission.

Declaring that Israel did not apply for the purchase of ships, the Commission said that it could not sell ships to Israel even if the Jewish state filed a formal application. Only an act of Congress could make possible such a sale because of regulations on ship sales which have been in effect for the past 18 months, the Commission emphasized.

The Commission also declared that it has no knowledge of Israel trying to buy ships from private owners in the United States, and that this would have to come to the Commission’s attention. The Export-Import Bank also stated that it has no knowledge of an Israeli application for the sale of ships and that no part of the $100,000,000 Bank loan to Israel has as yet been allocated for the acquisition of vessels.