JERUSALEM (Oct. 13)
Premier David Ben Gurion, acting in his capacity of Defense Minister, presented to Parliament today a government bill designed to tighten military service requirements and end evasion of service.
The measure, clarifying the nationality status of residents of Israel and “tourists” who have outstayed their visas, permits such individuals to waive Israeli citizenship preferred under the “Law of Return,” but does not, in most cases, exempt them from military service. If they have applied for permanent residence or have overstayed their visas and made no move to leave the country, such residents must serve in the armed forces.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet last night approved the draft of a treaty with France under whose provisions each government will recognize service by its nationals in the armed forces of the other as the equivalent of national service.
The Cabinet also heard a report by Premier Ben Gurion on the political situation which presumably covered Israeli negotiations with Washington for financial aid and what is expected to occur in the Middle East in the wake of Anglo-American troop withdrawals.
Israeli political circles, commenting on Arab developments vis-a-vis Israel, noted today that the uproar at the recent Florence, Italy, conference on Mediterranean problems, when the Arabs nakedly threatened to scuttle a multi-nation undertaking rather than accept the presence of two Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in their personal capacity, would have an important effect on Italy.
The Italians, hopeful of mediating the Israel-Arab dispute, have been made to realize that more is needed in such a venture than goodwill on the part of Italy and Israel. It is hoped that this lesson will have a beneficial effect on Italian policy in this area.