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Soviet Submarines Reported Reaching Gulf of Akaba; Menacing Israel

Soviet submarines delivered last week to Egypt may have already slipped through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea to menace Israel shipping through the Gulf of Akaba, reports cabled here today from Beirut, capital of Lebanon, said.

Another report originating with the Middle East News Agency in Cairo claimed that American ships “regularly” call at the Israeli port of Elath, at the head of the Gulf of Akaba. The Arab news agency alleged that two Israeli destroyers and two torpedo boats maintain “round-the-clock” watches between Elath and the Tiran Straits.

(From Jerusalem it was reported to the JTA today that political observers there believe that the Soviet submarine transfer and the dispatch of Russian vessels to the Mediterranean Sea were basically anti-American moves to back up Syria and to convince the West that no matter how many Soviet notes it rejects the USSR is in fact a Middle East Power. Nevertheless, informed Israeli quarters feel that while Moscow may have anti-American aims, Egypt’s President Nasser will use the submarines and this new demonstration of Soviet support as anti-Israel weapons, the cable stated.)

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