TEL AVIV (Jan. 9)
Ethiopia’s Marxist government has finally agreed to accept direct aid from Israel to help alleviate famine, it was announced today by Arye Harel, president of the Magen David Adom. He said that despite severe economic difficulties here, the MDA, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, has raised a quarter million dollars for Ethiopian relief.
The Ethiopian regime has no diplomatic relations with Israel, a country to which it is hostile, and stubbornly refused to accept any assistance from Israel until now. It reversed its position at the prodding of the International Red Cross and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.
Harel said the 220 tons of relief items which have been awaiting shipment for several weeks include 10 field kitchens, 800 tents, 20 tons of flour, 20 tons of sugar, cooking oil, chocolate powder and baby food.
They will fill 10 marine containers which the Zim Lines, Israel’s national shipping company, will carry, presumably from Eilat to Ethiopia’s port of Massawa on the Red Sea. The Ethiopian authorities refused to allow the relief supplies to be flown in by Israeli aircraft. There was no explanation why they agreed to an Israeli sea carrier.
Israeli peace advocate Abie Nathan has already delivered emergency supplies to Ethiopia, bought with funds raised by his off-shore Voice of Peace radio broadcasts. (See separate story.)
The MDA announced, meanwhile, that it will soon launch another campaign for funds to help Ethiopian Jews who have recently arrived in Israel.