Claim That Akaba Gulf is “purely Arab” Called False by Israel

Arab warnings to Mecca-bound Moslem pilgrims against use of the Gulf of Akaba route were dismissed this week-end by Israeli officials as unreal and as a pretext to keep Syrians from entering Jordan territory en route to the Holy City.

Israeli officials also pointed out that Jordan wants to discourage its nationals from making the pilgrimage because they might be influenced by Egyptian agents in Mecca. The Israelis note that only two percent of Moslems use the Gulf route.

The Saudi Arabian-Jordan declaration that the Akaba Gulf is a “purely Arab” body of water was described by Israeli officials as “fictitious,” a term they also used to denote the Arab military pact which they said King Saud of Saudi Arabia was trying to keep alive in his efforts to become the recognized leader of all Arab countries.

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