TEL AVIV (May. 22)
Airline pilots landing at Lydda International Airport today reported that they had seen ships of the United States Sixth Fleet steaming eastward in the Mediterranean, Most of the fleet, they asserted, was already east of the island of Cyprus, and within easy access of the coast. It was believed here that the fleet was being deployed into strategic positions in the event that diplomatic talks failed to reduce the current Arab-Israel tension, and Washington might want to consider use of elements of its powerful naval force.
(A spokesman for the U.S. Sixth Fleet in Naples declined comment on various reports of possible fleet operations in the Arab-Israel area. Official sources in Washington voiced doubt that orders had been issued, authorizing involvement in Israel’s defense under present circumstances.)