TEL AVIV (Mar. 20)
The freighter Pandora, flying the flag of Costa Rica, left Israel’s port of Elath on the Gulf of Akaba Tuesday night with cargo consigned to the port of Massewa in East Africa. The vessel was due to sail through the Strait of Tiran today in a test of Saudi Arabian refusal to recognize the right of innocent passage. The Pandora was formerly the Israel-flagged vessel Malkat Sheva (Queen of Sheba).
Since United Nations forces are in occupation of Sharn el Sheikh, overlooking the Strait from the Sinai side, there could be no question of Egyptian interference with the vessel.
Radio advices here today said that the captain of the Danish freighter Brigita Toft which was expected to pass through the straits on March 24 bound for Elath with cargo from Djibouti, has decided to await new instructions from the Danish Foreign Ministry at Copenhagen before venturing the passage.