JERUSALEM (Mar. 9)
An official spokesman confirmed here today that an oil tanker had reached Israel via the Suez Canal, the first to do so since the Jewish State was established. The confirmation followed a news report that a tanker carrying 20,000 tons of crude oil from Iran to Israel had passed through the canal enroute to Haifa.
Under the terms of the Israel-Egypt interim agreement signed last September. Egypt undertook that “non-military cargoes” to or from Israel “shall be permitted” through the Suez Canal. It was specifically understood at the time that this was to include oil.
In the Knesset yesterday. Defense Minister Shimon Peres noted that Egypt was not complying with another provision of the agreement (in the protocol attached to it) by refusing to allow UNEF boats to patrol the Gulf of Suez. He said UNEF Commander Ensio Siilasvuo was attempting to straighten the matter out with the Egyptians.