Israel Steps Up Drive for Support on Suez Issue in General Assembly

Israel’s diplomats abroad were stepping up efforts today to obtain support in the United Nations General Assembly debate for Israel’s denunciation of the Suez Canal blockade and against a World Bank loan to Egypt for the canal’s expansion so long as Egypt uses the canal as a political weapon.

This information was forthcoming as the Israel Foreign Ministry published a booklet dealing with press opinion in 24 countries throughout the world on the question of Israel’s freedom of transit of the Suez Canal. As compared to similar previous roundups, the current review was notable for the number of editorials from Asian newspapers supporting the Israel position in contrast to the neutrality they showed formerly.

The Foreign Ministry’s forward to the booklet described the Suez Canal blockade of Israeli shipping as “a record of lawlessness and aggression and of deliberate violation of international commitments. ” It cited the various commitments Egypt had undertaken with respect to freedom of transit of the canal and declared that “any national claim to free use of Suez is indivisible and that the integrity of this claim cannot be violated with impunity in the case of any one nation.”

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