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Israelis Puzzled by U.S. Shipping of Arms to Iraq; No Official Comment

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The Israel Government declined comment today on the arrival In Iraq of the first shipment of United States military aid since the recent revolution in Baghdad except to reiterate that Israel opposes arms to any country which refuses peaceful relations with Israel.

Informed sources here, however, indicated that the report caused considerable surprise and possibly confusion among Israel officials who have had an optimistic attitude about the influence on the Western Powers of the Iraq revolution. While Israel was aware that the West would continue all attempts to woo the new Iraqi Government, it apparently had not been expected that the wooing would extend to arms shipments.

The observers also Indicated that Israel had expected early and favorable decisions on Israel’s arms requests to London and Washington. The sudden despatch of arms to Iraq while Israel’s requests were still claimed as being only in the stage of “active study” came as a very unpleasant surprise, according to these sources.

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