WASHINGTON (Mar. 9)
The Gaza incident is one of the factors that has been taken into consideration by the State Department in delaying the granting of export permits for arms to Israel. it was indicated here today.
The indication came from State Department sources following an inquiry by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency with regard to the authenticity of a report published today that the United States has banned the selling of American arms to Israel and to Egypt in an effort to avert further warring between the two countries.
The report, carried in the press under the byline of the noted columnist Robert S. Allen, said that Congressional leaders have been informed that this unannounced embargo has been ordered by the State Department with the approval of President Eisenhower.” It added that Egypt and Israel had been buying American arms under the so-called “reimbursable” section of the Mutual Security Act. This provision authorizes such sales to countries recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
NO QUESTION OF SUSPENSION: CLEARANCE TO BE DECIDED AT VARIOUS LEVELS
State Department sources told the JTA that Israel requests for various kinds of export permits for arms which Israel wants to purchase in this country have been delayed for varying lengths of time. The Gaza incident is one factor that has been taken into consideration, they said. However, they added that the requests are still under consideration.
It was emphasized that there is no question of suspension, but that the decision on clearance of the export licenses are being help up pending judgment at various levels. No information is available as to the “reimbursable” arms sought in this country by Egypt, although it was indicated that the major consideration at present pertains to Israel.
Mr. Allen, in his report, said that the exact amount of the purchases of arms by Egypt and Israel in this country is considered classified information and cannot be published. However, he revealed that Congressional authorities have been told that Egypt’s total is about five times greater than the arms bought by Israel under the Mutual Security Act.
The State Department today continued to refrain from making any comment on the Gaza incident, but it was learned here that at United Nations special truce committee will meet Friday under the chairmanship of Gen. E.L.M. Burns, head of the UN truce organization, to consider Israel’s appeal from its condemnation by the Mixed Armistice Commission for the clash at Gaza. Following the meeting, Gen. Burns is expected to depart by air for New York to report his views to the UN Security Council.