JERUSALEM (Jun. 17)
Official circles here expressed confidence today that the South African government will soon rescind its ban on the transfer of funds to Israel and other financial transactions between the two countries. The ban was imposed following South Africa’s angry reaction to Israel’s donation of $2,800 in food and medical supplies to the Organization for African Unity which South Africa regards as a terrorist organization. The officials here said they welcomed the statement by the South African Finance Ministry that it was in the process of obtaining ” clarification” of the Israeli donation. The Pretoria government had said the ban on fund transfers was temporary pending clarification. Israeli circles said the donation to the OAU was a routine matter in response to a United Nations appeal on humanitarian grounds and did not even require Cabinet approval. They noted that Israel only last week donated $3,500 worth of medical supplies to the Indian relief operation on behalf of refugees from East Pakistan although Pakistan is regarded by Israel as a hostile nation. This fact did not influence Israel’s donation and the donation of food and medicine to the OAU should be viewed as the same kind of humanitarian act, the circles said.