Crewmen Strike on Israeli Freighter Called off in Bremerhaven

A brief strike of crewmen aboard the Israeli freighter Avocado core ended here today following the intervention of three Israeli officials. Nine crewmen who were the strike leaders left the ship and agreed to return to Israel “voluntarily.” German longshoremen began unloading a cargo of Central American bananas as soon as the strike ended. The Avocado core is expected to be ready to sail Saturday.

The strike, which apparently stemmed from an inter-union dispute, pushed the Avocado core into world headlines. The ship’s master reported a “rebellion” at sea to the Israeli Embassy in London last Thursday and dropped anchor off Dover which was not a scheduled port of call. The vessel arrived in Bremerhaven Tuesday but the crew prevented discharge of cargo. They relented, however, after meeting with Meir Ayalon, the Israeli Consul General in Bonn, Nimrod Eshel, of the Israeli Ministry of Transport, and Avraham Ariel, of Maritime Fruit Carriers Ltd., of Haifa, owners of the Avocado core. The ship’s master indicated that he thought the incident was blown up out of proportion by the press. He said that while the strike was illegal because the ship was in foreign waters, it did not constitute a mutiny. He denied sensational reports in the British press that crew members had attacked British police with knives when the Avocado core was in Dover.

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