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Israeli authorities have withdrawn an official invitation to the Chilean naval training ship Esmeralda to visit Haifa this week. The move represented a reversal of last week’s decision to allow the courtesy call to take place. Protests against the visit were raised in some quarters because the Esmeralda had been employed as a prison ship where political prisoners were incarcerated and allegedly tortured after a military junta overthrew the Chilean government of President Salvador Allende three years ago. The authorities said the Esmeralda would be permitted to call at Haifa to refuel and replenish its food and water supplies if necessary.

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