Eban Optimistic on Possibility of U.S. Congress Approving Grant-in-aid for Israel

Optimism over the chances for approval by the U.S. Congress of Israel’s request for a grant-in-aid from the American Government was expressed here today by Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. He said that a part of the grant-in-aid would be spent to buy more grain in this country.

Addressing a press conference, the Israeli diplomat declared that Israel still needs military supplies from the United States and would continue trying to obtain more. He confirmed a report that Israel will soon sign a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with the United States.

In response to a question about oil in Israel, Mr. Eban said that Jewish exports had been in contact with American oil experts on the question of whether there was any oil under Israel’s soil. He stated that Egypt’s ban on Israel-bound goods being shipped through the Suez Canal may be placed on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council in the near future and expressed the hope that the U.S. would support Israel’s point of view on this issue.

The Israel diplomats said work on the Huleh drainage project was going on, but that Israel was not satisfied with the situation which permitted work only on Jewish-owned land. He said the project will be completed only as originally planned, requiring the use of seven acres of Arab-owned land. Mr. Eban said there had been differences with the U.S. over the spirit with which Israel had carried on the work, but not in respect to the aims of the project.

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