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U.n., Red Cross Mum on Plea for Egyptian Release of Israeli Fishermen

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The Israel Fishermen’s Association decided today to call on the International Fishermen’s Federation to take action against the halting of the fishing vessel Doron on the high seas of Egypt last week and the detention of six crewmen by Egyptian authorities.

Meanwhile, the Israel Foreign Ministry has received no replies to pleas addressed to the International Red Cross and the United Nations in behalf of the six fishermen. The owners of the Doron sent special holiday parcels to the imprisoned crewmen on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

The Arab newspapers in the Jordan-occupied Old City of Jerusalem reported today that the fishermen had been discovered to be “spies” and that the Doron had been confiscated and sold at auction. Lurid dispatches to the Arab press described a “mysterious piece of apparatus” attached to the Doron’s hull which could “ascertain the tonnages” of ships approaching the Egyptian coast and that this constituted the “espionage” of the Doron’s crew.

What was described in the Arab press was an echo depth meter which is used to warn the vessel when it is approaching shallows and which also indicates when schools of fish are in the vicinity. The device is standard equipment on modern fishing trawlers,

It was considered significant here that reports from Cairo omit all mention of charges that the Doron had violated Egyptian territorial waters and had therefore been seized by coast guard units. The owners of the vessel said that when they last heard from the Doron by radio it was 12 miles from the Egyptian shore and was preparing to return to its home port.

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