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Former Italian Steamship Handed over to Israel Merchant Marine; Vessel Renamed “arzah”

The 3,200-ton Italian steamship Mare Ligure, which had been purchased by the Israel Shipping Company, was this week-end handed over at Bari to the Israel merchant marine. Arie Oron, Israel Consul in Rome, signed the ownership certificate and the document changing the vessel’s name to “Arzah.”

Italian naval and civilian authorities and the new Israel crew were present at the ceremony. The Italians, in brief addresses to the visiting seamen, emphasized Italy’s friendship for Israel, especially in nautical matters. They underlined that in the future, Israel itself would be able to provide travel facilities for immigrants coming to its shores. Hoisting of the Israel flag and singing of the Hatikvah concluded the ceremony.

Only 760 Jewish refugees sailed from Italy for Israel in the second half of October, it was announced here. The refugees came from Poland, Egypt, Tripoli, Austria and Germany. Under current schedules, it was reported, two refugee vessels a month will sail from Italian ports for the Jewish state.