JERUSALEM (Aug. 23)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion revealed today at a special session of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, that Israel had recently acquired, after “great efforts,” certain types of military equipment, obtainable from only one country in the world, which was needed to counteract enemy preparations against Israel. He did not disclose the nature of the equipment or the country.
The Prime Minister made the disclosure when he announced he was assuming responsibility for the Government’s presentation of a supplementary budget last winter while the Knesset was still debating the regular allocations for the current year. Finance Minister Levi Eshkol has been under sharp criticism for the request for the new levies.
Mr. Ben-Gurion took the floor in his capacity as Defense Minister to share new denunciations of the Finance Minister and said it was his moral duty to reveal that vital security needs were at stake when he demanded funds beyond the original budget estimates.
He told the Knesset that Israel then urgently needed to strengthen the equipment of two branches of Israel’s defenses. He said he then summoned a special Cabinet meeting and, after asking the entire Government to assume responsibility for the situation, he received unanimous Cabinet support for his decision to seek supplementary funds.
The special Knesset session had been convened at the request of opposition parties to seek repeal of the new levies which were imposed by the Treasury one day after the Knesset was recessed. The Knesset voted to send the matter to a committee.