Israelis Question Acceptance of U.S. Aid for Nuclear Desalination Plant

Israeli political circles and sections of the press in this country voiced second thoughts today about accepting United States assistance for the construction of a desalination plant that would use nuclear power for the production of electricity and the simultaneous desalting of seawater.

“New Look, ” organ of Rafi, the political faction led by former Premier David Ben Gurion, expressed fears today that too much reliance on Washington’s aid for the building of such a plant might open the way to American demands for the inspection of all nuclear plants in Israel.

“New Look” called for the substitution of British or French aid in the desalination field for American assistance. Other Israeli circles expressed the opinion that United Nations assistance would be preferable to Washington’s aid.

The high cost of the fresh water to become available through the proposed nuclear plant was also stressed. Haaretz, one of the leading morning dailies in Israel, declared today that the cost of fresh water from such a plant would be “practically prohibitive, ” and expressed the opinion that the project would be “financially ruinous” to Israel.

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