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Israel’s Cabinet Examines Security Problems; Eshkol Reports to Knesset Today

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Israel’s Cabinet heard reports today from Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Gen. Moshe Dayan, the Minister of Defense, about last week’s hostilities between Israel and Egypt, including Egypt’s sinking of the Israeli destroyer Elath and Israel’s massive artillery attacks on Egypt’s oil refinery complex at Port Suez, which destroyed 80 percent of Catro’s oil refining capacity.

Mr. Eshkol also reported about the developments at the United Nations Security Council last week, Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s conference with President Johnson and Britain’s Foreign Secretary George Brown, and Mr. Eshkol’s own conferences here with the British diplomatic mission to Israel, The reports to the Cabinet were a prelude to detailed reports which Mr. Eshkol will give tomorrow to the Knesset (Parliament), as the latter body reconvenes after its summer recess.

Meanwhile, Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s chief of staff of the armed forces, announced today that he has named his deputy, Brig. Chaim Barlev, as investigator of the Elath disaster. While it is routine for the head of the armed forces to appoint an investigator whenever an incident results in loss of life. this is the first time the investigator selected was such a high officer of the army.

In addition to discussing security affairs and most recent Arab hostilities, the Cabinet also examined next year’s budget, and named a committee to draw up a detailed budget for 1968 to be presented to the Knesset about the end of December.

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