LONDON (Jan. 17)
The Egyptian Official Gazette, which has published decree proclaiming Israel food shipments contraband and subject to seizure in Egyptian waters, published an “Explanatory Memorandum” along side the decree, it was reported here today in a dispatch from Cairo.
The “explanation” reveals that the Arab states boycott committee has asked the Egyptian Government to pass legislation designed to lighten the anti-Israel blockade in Egyptian waters by confiscating food shipments and the vessels in which they are being transported to Israel, just as is done by other Arab states. At the same time, the “Explanatory Memorandum” points out, the director of the Coastal Guard Department has informed the government that Israel economic activity in relation to South and East Africa is increasing.
The memorandum also notes that modern wars are characterized by total economic mobilization so that it has become difficult to distinguish between fighting forces and civilian populations and between supplies for one or the other. Therefore, it continues, it has become customary to regard all imports of a “belligerent state as war contraband” and consequently “Egypt has to take sterner measures to attain the desired end.”