TEL AVIV (Nov. 1)
Israel is taking an increasingly serious view of the continued blockade of the straits of Bab el Mandab, the narrow neck of water connecting the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Thirteen freighters are stuck in the Israeli port of Eilat at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, many of them with full cargoes for African and Far Eastern ports.
They are unable to sail because of two Egyptian destroyers and several submarines patrolling the straits. The Egyptian force is reportedly turning back ships bound for Eilat. But a Japanese freighter unloaded a cargo of frozen tuna at Eilat earlier this week and sailed unmolested by the Egyptians who are apparently unwilling to provoke an incident with Japan.