Israel Demands Immediate Release of Captured Fishermen by Egypt

Israel has informed United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold that she will accept no interim solution but insists upon the unconditional and in mediate release of six fishermen captured with the fishing trawler Doron September 25 off the Mediterranean coast opposite El Arish, authoritative sources revealed here today.

Israel had expected that UN representatives would be permitted to meet today with the captured five Israelis and the boat’s Italian captain, but by evening no word had been received here. There is a possibility that the meeting will take place tomorrow, if it did not occur today.

Commenting on Egypt’s announcement that it would handle the case within the framework on the Mixed Armistice Commission which Israel has refused to recognize since the Sinai campaign, high Israeli circles said the Jewish State would not be a party to Egyptian maneuvers, procrastination or legalisms. Even if Israel recognized the MAC, these sources noted, this case would not come under the mixed unit’s jurisdiction because it occurred on the high seas, net long the Israel-Egyptian border.

The onus of proof that the vessel actually entered Egyptian territorial waters, as charged by Cairo, rests entirely on Egypt, the Israelis pointed out. Irrespective of the truth of the charge, they continued, international law provides that the crew members be released immediately.

A dispatch from Dusseldorf, West Germany, reported today that the German Union of Public Service and Transportation Workers cabled Egyptian President Nasser demanding the release of the trawler Doron and her crew of six.)

NEXT STORY