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First Israeli-flag Vessel Through Suez Canal Due Around April 10

The container ship Ashdod, owned by the Zim Lines of Haifa, may be the first Israel-flag vessel to pass through the Suez Canal, it was learned today. The Zim Lines have applied to the Canal Authority for permission and are hopeful it will be granted by the time the ship reaches the southern entrance to the Canal on or about April 10. The Ashdod is presently loading cargo at Durban, South Africa. Her normal voyage plan to return to Israel via the Cape of Good Hope was tentatively amended by the Zim management after the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty was signed on March 26.