JERUSALEM (May. 25)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban, in a visit to Sharm el-Sheihk on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, said that Israel would never relinquish the base overlooking the Straits of Tiran. Israel seized Sharm el-Sheikh from Egyptian troops in the Six-Day War.
Mr. Eban said Israeli control over the Straits of Tiran was in the national interest and “never again will be put in jeopardy.” Sharm el-Sheikh controls access to the Gulf of Aqaba, Israel’s only southern sea route from the port of Eilat. Speaking to Israeli soldiers, he said, “there is no doubt that the question of Sharm el-Sheikh will be one of the main points in any negotiation because it is a question of securing freedom of passage here. Any arrangement must insure Israel’s control in this place.” He visited the site two years after President Nasser of Egypt announced that the Aqaba Gulf was closed to Israeli shipping, a move regarded as a critical one in precipitating the war.