Israel Considers Steps Against Spain’s Orders Barring Israeli Ships

Israel will take various diplomatic steps in international and maritime organizations if Spain persists in implementing orders to deny harbor facilities to Israeli shipping, it was stated here today. According to reports received here, port authorities in Las Palmas and Barcelona have issued orders which would deny harbor facilities to Israeli shipping.

The Barcelona order, according to officials of Zim Israel Lines at Haifa, read: “As from the 30th of April, no Israeli-flag ship, carrying either passengers or cargo, will be permitted movement in this port because Israel has no diplomatic relations with Spain.” An official communique at Las Palmas stated: “As Israel has neither diplomatic relations nor trade or bankers agreement with Spain, no Israeli ship will be permitted to carry out trade transactions in this port.”

It was learned that, under Arab pressures, the anti-Israeli policies were about to be put into effect in both ports on March 18, but were postponed after intervention by local Spanish tradesmen dealing with Israel.

At least two steps are open to Israel on this issue, it was said here. Israel and Spain are both members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, so that Israel would appeal to GATT for intervention on the grounds that Spain is violating the GATT charter. Another course seen here as open to Israel is to point out that Spain’s action might jeopardize the Madrid Government’s efforts toward a link with the European Market.

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