73. Special Report of the Watch Committee1

No. 874A

The Watch Committee met in special session at 1400 on 26 May to review the possibility of hostilities in the Middle East, [1–1/2 lines of source text not declassified].

The Watch Committee findings are as follows:

On the basis of our review of all available intelligence, we do not believe the Israeli claim that Egypt is preparing to launch an attack against Israel [2–1/2 lines of source text not declassified].
Concern of the Israelis that their strategic position is deteriorating could lead to a decision to attack or retaliate for reasons other than a blockade of the Gulf or Israeli deaths resulting from Arab terrorist acts. A test of the more limited issue of the Strait of Tiran may not come in the immediate future since the tanker Nora, previously scheduled for Eilat, has been diverted.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Middle East Crisis, Situation Reports. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]. The cover sheet indicates the report was sent to Bromley Smith and seen by Walt Rostow.