TEL AVIV (Jul. 21)
Shimon Peres, retiring director general of the Israel Defense Ministry, asserted today that within a few years the European arms industry would be unified and that Israel in consequence would be unable to purchase arms without “European consent and this means including West Germany’s consent.”
In an interview in Davar, Histadrut’s daily newspaper, Mr. Peres added that France and West Germany in particular were planning a common arms industry and that arms Israel might need would come out of such a common production. He said France supported the establishment of a European community and there was no alternative for Israel but to make friends with the countries which are France’s friends.
Recalling Israel negotiations for purchase of mothballed West German submarines, since discontinued, Mr. Peres said Israel had needed such submersibles as a defense against the submarines the Soviet Union had sold to the United Arab Republic.
Mr. Peres, whose resignation as director general becomes effective July 22, said “important headway” had been made in establishing a scientific military industry in Israel which he called essential in any possible future warfare. Mr. Peres is being replaced by Asher Ben Nathan as acting director general.