LONDON (Mar. 20)
Britain contemplates releasing new weapons to Israel, probably furnishing Israel with new anti-aircraft defenses, the Sunday Observer here reported today.
Stating that Britain’s permanent policy vis-a-vis the Middle East entails the maintenance of “some kind of a balance” of arms, the Observer declared that, in the present situation regarding armaments held by the United Arab Republic and by Israel, more arms aid for Israel is called for.
The newspaper said that, according to estimates accepted by British military authorities, “the UAR now has a slight edge over the Israeli forces.” This is true, the newspaper declared, “even if one allows for what British military authorities consider Israel’s superior technical training and combativeness.”
On the other hand, the Observer stated, Britain discounts as propaganda “inspired” Israeli reports about a major Soviet build-up of the Egyptian Air Force in their last few months. The newspaper dismissed as “ridiculous” reports that the Egyptians are about to receive Russian, MIG-19 fighter-bombers.