Israel Ambassador Discusses Gaza Friction with State Department
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Israel Ambassador Discusses Gaza Friction with State Department

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The immediate problem of tension on the Gaza frontier and broader problems which have been under review for some time were discussed today by Israel Ambassador Abba Eban with George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. It was Mr. Eban’s first meeting with Mr. Allen since the Ambassador returned from consultations in Jerusalem.

Long-term issues which arose at Jerusalem were discussed today, it was indicated. Ambassador Eban is believed to have told Mr. Allen today of the central importance placed by the Israel Government on close cooperation between the two governments. Reuven Shiloah, Israel Minister Plenipotentiary participated in today’s meeting.

Israel circles feel that there is a recent disposition in Washington to approach Israel’s problems with more comprehension. These circles cite the successful conclusion of agreements on economic aid during the current fiscal year, the intention of the Administration to continue large-scale aid to Israel in the coming year, the agreement on the peaceful use of atomic energy, granting of agricultural surpluses, the intention announced by Foreign Operations Administrator Harold E. Stassen to withhold arms aid from Israel and Arab countries contiguous to Israel, the criticism expressed in the Senate against the Iraqi arms program and the attention devoted by the United States to the Jordan River plan now under discussion with Ambassador Eric Johnston.

However, Israel circles continue to feel concern over unremitting Arab hostility, and to feel that the United States may be the only power capable of assisting the attainment of lasting stability. In these circumstances, great interest attaches to the question of a United States security agreement with Israel concerning which Prime Minister Moshe Sharett spoke to the Knesset on June 1, Mr. Eban is believed to have resumed discussions today with Mr. Allen on this point.

Israel circles do not expect this discussion to reach a conclusion in the immediate future but indicate that the subject is still very much alive. The view held by Israel circles is that by expediting this matter the United States would greatly assist the attainment of stability in the Middle East and the removal of current tensions. It would therefore not be logical, these circles say, to regard the current tension as a reason for delaying radical measures to relieve it.

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