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Israel Awaits France’s Action on Suez Shipping; Will Follow Lead

Israel will make no effort to send cargoes through the Suez Canal unless France agrees to authorise its shippers to use the canal, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry declared here today. He was amplifying a statement made last Friday by Premier David Ben Gurion to a group of Hebrew editors that Israel would first test Egypt’s attitude toward Israeli cargoes by sending them through the Suez Canal in foreign bottoms.

Premier Ben Gurion also told the editors that he is determined to send “at the appropriate time” an Israeli ship through the Suez Canal and that this was essential “to demonstrate Egypt’s behavior to the world.” With regard to the passage of Israeli ships through the Gulf of Akaba, Mr. Ben Gurion said that Israel “would meet force with force” if her ships were molested in their passage through the gulf.

(In Damascus, Syrian Premier Sabri Assali threatened today that “Israeli ships will never pass through the Suez Canal or the Gulf of Akaba.”)

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