WASHINGTON (Oct. 5)
Israel circles in Washington today refuted allegations by State Department sources that Israel possesses more military equipment than the Arab League combined and that Egypt has told the truth in describing its arms supply as inferior to that of Israel.
State Department sources have told newsmen here that a danger of Israel “preventive war” against Egypt really exists. These sources alleged that the United States Government knows the Israel Army to be stronger than the combined Arab forces and that Egypt has a right to redress the “imbalance.” It is felt by these sources, however, that Egypt could have improved its military strength through Western connections rather than resorting to a deal with the Communist bloc.
It has been learned, however, that the Egyptian defense budget is three times as large as that of Israel. Egypt has British jet aircraft numbering between 80 and 100 while Israel has only approximately one-fourth that number. Israel has fewer than one-half of Egypt’s 300 Sherman tanks. Egypt is also known to have recently purchased 200 tanks from Belgium. Equipment bought by Egypt from Spain includes mortars and 2,400 heavy and light machineguns.
Thirty-two of 64 British Centurion tanks bought by Egypt from England have already been delivered. Despite Egypt’s Communist deal, England will deliver the rest as well as a number of jet fighters now on order. The Centurion is superior to any tank in the Israel armored force. Both Israel and Egypt have been revealed to be negotiating to purchase self-propelled anti-tank guns from France. The French guns are of a new design and pack an unprecedented punch.
Reports have told of Czech intentions to supply Egypt with hundreds of Stalin tanks and 100 MIG jet fighters. Israel feels that the new flow of arms to Egypt will definitely encourage Egyptian aggressive inclinations. She is, therefore, renewing her request for American military aid, a request which has been deferred by the State Department for over three years.