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Israel Government to Decide Sunday on Action over Suez Canal Blockade

The next meeting of the Israel Cabinet Sunday is expected to decide on whether to make a formal complaint to the United Nations Security Council against the new United Arab Republic blockade of the Suez Canal to Israel cargoes, it was reported today. The complaint would charge the UAR with repeated violations of the international right of free passage through the canal, stressing that a Danish ship, the Inge Toft, has been detained by Egypt since May 21.

Israel’s diplomatic representatives abroad have already contacted Security Council member states and the major maritime powers on the matter, it was also reported. Simultaneously, it was understood, the Israel Foreign Ministry has asked UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold to consider another visit to Cairo to clarify UAR President Nasser’s reported conditions for Israel cargo transit through the canal. These are considered here as amounting to a de facto blockade.

These conditions, it was reported, were that Israel should not send cargo on Israel chartered ships and that Israel should agree to keep Canal-bound shipments secret, when sent on regular foreign vessels.

Although the Western Powers were reported as unenthusiastic about an Israel complaint on the issue to the Security Council, it was expected here that the United States, Britain and France would join Canada, Argentina, Italy, Japan and Panama in a stand in support of the principle of free passage through the canal.

(Cairo radio today broadcast that the United States Government has adopted a “neutral attitude” in the question of Israeli maritime passage through the Suez Canal. “Despite its traditional support for Israel, this time the United States decided to keep out of the Inge Toft affair and not intervene, ” the Cairo broadcast claimed. It predicted that the report of UN Secretary General Hammarskjold on the Inge Toft issue “will drive Israel into a corner and force it to face new complications.”)

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