TEL AVIV (Jun. 17)
The continuous flow of Soviet arms to Egypt and Syria, coupled with Soviet fleet exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean will eventually “incite and kindle a fire,” the Israeli newspaper Maariv warned today.
The newspaper asserts that the reason for the Soviet fleet exercises is an attempt to regain with the Arab states the prestige it lost when its weapons in the hands of the Egyptians were unable to stop the Israelis and when the United States Sixth Fleet prevented the destruction of Jordan by pro-Soviet Arab states.
Maariv further comments that the Russian moves indicate a policy which is destined to force the Western Powers to include the USSR in deliberations of a Middle Eastern arrangement. To achieve this end, Maariv fears, the Soviet Union will use any means, “even setting fire to the region–only to appear later as the fireman.”