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Israel Foreign Ministry Silent on U.S. Request to Leave Tiran Islands

May 29, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Foreign Ministry refused today to comment on press reports that the United States had asked Israel to vacate the island of Sanafir in the Straits of Tiran which, with the adjacent island of Tiran, commands the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba and Israel’s port of Eilat.

Israel occupied the two islands in last June’s Six-Day War which was precipitated by the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran. Israel rejected an earlier United Nations request to evacuate Tiran. The islands nominally belong to Saudi Arabia, but they were “loaned” to Egypt in the early 1950s as a base for blockading Israel. United Nations emergency forces occupied Tiran from 1957 until they were ordered out by Secretary General U Thant last May at the request of Egypt’s President Nasser. The Egyptians built a fortress on the island.

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