TEL AVIV (Jan. 7)
Israeli Cabinet members and other senior officials have been warned to guard their overseas telephone conversations because of the presence of a Soviet “spy ship” just outside territorial waters capable of interception wireless telephone communications. The vessel reportedly disguised as a fishing trawler, was sighted about 30 kilometers off the Israeli coast.
It is the first Soviet spy ship detected in the eastern Mediterranean in seven months and is believed to be monitoring American naval movements in the area. Israeli circles assume that the ship was positioned between Israel and Egypt in anticipation of American use of air or naval bases in either of those countries. The vessel is said to be using the Syrian part of Latakia for repairs and supplies. So far, the Russian vessel has carefully avoided encroaching on Israeli territorial waters.