75. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel 1
Washington, February 9, 1968, 0048Z.
112564. Subject: Tiran Island. Following based on uncleared memcon. Noforn,FYI and subject revision.
- In course farewell call by Israeli Ambassador Harman, Secretary said he was disappointed by GOI reply (State 111432)2 to his January 17 letter to Eban on Tiran Island.3 Secretary said he viewed response as thinly-disguised “no.” Added he thought it unreasonable to expect SAG promise island would remain permanently uninhabited. Evacuation island was tiny gesture Israel could easily make.
- Harman replied potential danger of island must not be overlooked. Guns located there could close Strait Tiran. Secretary replied [Page 153]militarization was not issue; GOI was seeking SAG assurance island would never be inhabited.
- Harman asked whether SAG agreeable leave Tiran demilitarized. Secretary said this point covered in his letter to Eban. Harman said he would convey Secretary's concern to Foreign Minister.