Israel to Study Possibility of Canal Between Red Sea and Mediterranean

The Finance Ministry has allocated 100,000 pounds ($33,000) for a preliminary feasibility study on the possible construction of a canal seaway across Israel linking the Mediterranean port of Ashdod with the Red Sea port of Eilat, it was reported here today.

Coming at a time of retrenchment and austerity, the grant for the study indicates the importance which the Government attaches to such a canal which would enable ocean-going vessels to bypass the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal. Actual construction of the 200-mile-long Israeli canal would cost an estimated $0,000,000,000 and would require three years merely for the preliminary survey work and planning.

Although the project when first proposed seemed utopian to many, Israeli circles are now reported interested in the proposal. Interest has also been expressed by officials of the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv.