JERUSALEM (Mar. 24)
The United States Government believes that President Nasser of Egypt will not dare interfere with Israel traffic through the Gulf of Akaba. Foreign Minister Golda Meir reportedly told the Israel Cabinet today when she reported on her hurried trip last week to the United States and the United Nations.
It is understood that Secretary of State Dulles urged that Israel not be hasty in reference to Egyptian moves in the Gaza Strip, and that if Israel gives the U. S. an opportunity to bend its efforts in that direction there will be no need for Israel to act.
If Nasser acts against Israeli shipping, Mrs. Mein is reported to have said, the U.S. will take the gravest view of it and it possibly could influence the U.S. attitude toward any Israeli counter-action to the blockade.
Upon her return to Israel this week-end, Mrs. Meir reveals that Israel had made certain “realistic” proposals on the Gaza Strip to the State Department and that Israel is awaiting an American reply. She also announced that Secretary General Dag. Hammarskjold, with whom she conferred in New York, had promised to transmit to President Nasser Israel’s query whether Egypt still considers herself at war with the Jewish State.
HAMMARSKJOLD VISIT TO ISRAEL HELD UNCERTAIN
Meanwhile, official Israeli spokesmen continue to deny any knowledge of a reported visit by Mr. Hammarskjold to Israel after he completes his talks in Cairo. A Foreign Office spokesman as late as last night said that the ministry had received no information of a visit.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Israel Foreign Ministry charged today that what is happening in the Gaza Strip, in the light of what United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold had said would take place there following Israel’s withdrawal, approaches an “international hoax’ and is creating in Israel a serious loss of confidence in the United Nations.
This official told the press that contrary to the assumption based on Mr. Hammarskjold’s report to the General Assembly that military and civilian administration would be transferred exclusively to the United Nations, “there was not one single hour of exclusive United Nations responsibility for the administration of Gaza.”
The Foreign Ministry official listed day-by-day developments in the Gaza Strip to support an implication that the United Nations broke faith with Israel – it did nothing effective to set up United Nations administration of the area and it prevented completion of discussions on continuing ties between Israel and Gaza.
New York headquarters of the United Nations, the official asserted, is responsible for misleading reports on actual conditions in the Gaza Strip today in an effort to create the impression that the UN force is still in control there. Actually, according to this official, “UNEF is stationed only along the demarcation lines while administration is already in Egyptian hands.”
The opening of a nationwide campaign to force the Israel Government to go to the people in an election on the issue of its withdrawal policy, was announced in Tel Aviv today by Menahem Beigin, head of the Herut Party. At the same time, Mr. Beigin declared that no Israeli soldiers would ever fire on UN troops stationed in the Gaza Strip, giving rise to the interpretation here that his demands for “deliberation” of the Gaza Strip are not meant for immediate action.