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South Africa to Reconsider Ban on Israel Fund Transfers

The South African Cabinet will meet in extraordinary session next week to consider rescinding its ban on the transfer of funds raised for Israel, the Israel Broadcasting Service reported today. The ban was imposed last month in reaction to Israel’s offer of $2850 in food and medical supplies to the Organization of African Unity which infuriated the South African Government. It also froze commercial transactions between the two countries. The IBS said it had its information through a telephone conversation with a spokesman for the South African Treasury in Pretoria. The reconsideration was prompted by Israel’s apparent withdrawal of its offer to the OAU, the report said. The Government announced last night that it has decided to donate $2850–the sum ear-marked for the OAU–to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be used for the education of African refugees. The announcement recalled that last May 18 Israel offered the OAU medicine, blankets and foodstuffs worth $2850 for humanitarian purposes in Africa but never received a response from the organization. The wording of the announcement implied that the original offer no longer stands.

The OAU is an umbrella organization for several African “freedom fighter” movements opposed to colonialism and apartheid. The South African Government ranks it as a terrorist organization. The South African press denounced the Israeli offer and it was also sharply criticized in a joint statement Issued last month by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the S.A. Zionist Federation, Israel claimed that the offer to the OAU was made in response to a humanitarian appeal from the United Nations Secretary General to aid victims of natural disasters. Observers here believe the South African Government will shortly rescind its ban on fund transfers to Israel,

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