JERUSALEM (Mar. 31)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, attending his first Cabinet meeting in a month, today, announced to the Cabinet that he has accepted the resignation of the chief of Israel’s security services–an official whose name is never disclosed.
The Premier told the Cabinet and, later, a special meeting of Parliament’s Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, that the resignation of the security chief was due to the fact that the Prime Minister did not accept the security chief’s “political evaluations” of recent events in connection with the revelations concerning the employment of West German scientists on nonconventional projects being conducted in Egypt. A temporary chief of the Israel security services has been named. Mr. Ben-Gurion said.
Mr. Ben-Gurion explained that the security chief resigned after he was told by the Prime Minister that the latter disagreed with his “political assessment. ” Voicing his high esteem of the security chief’s past services, the Premier praised the high official for “excellent work done together during the years. ” The Cabinet’s approval of the resignation was not necessary, since the post is within the jurisdiction of the Premier’s office.
At the Cabinet session, Mr. Ben-Gurion reviewed the issue of the German scientists employed by Egypt as well as the question of publishing further details on this entire matter. A spokesman for the Cabinet said after the meeting that Mr. Ben-Gurion had reiterated that he stands behind all actions taken until now as well as behind the statements on the issue made until now by the Foreign Ministry.
The latter assertion was understood to constitute additional refutation of earlier intimations that Foreign Minister Golda Meir might resign. Rumors of differences inside the Government, over the policy to be followed in the case of the German scientists at work in Egypt, have persisted here during the weekend. It was alleged that Mr. Ben-Gurion had transmitted to the Cabinet his dissatisfaction over the “dangerous” turn in Israeli policy from anti-Egyptian to anti-German.
BEN-GURION APPROVED OF GOLDA MEIR’S STATEMENT IN KNESSET
Mr. Ben-Gurion tried last night to dissipate reports about a “near crisis” in the Government. He denied all press reports which indicated possible resignations from the Government. But even today, reports still persisted that Mrs. Meir supports the anti-German policy–while Mr. Ben-Gurion opposes that line, and that she might resign,
A communique issued by the Premier’s office today stressed that Mrs. Meir’s statement on the German scientists issue in Parliament last week had been fully approved beforehand by the Premier and that there was no foundation for reports about a split in opinion between Mr. Ben-Gurion and Mrs. Meir. The communique also stated that the Government has no intention to publish a “white paper” about the work of the German scientists in Egypt.
Mr. Ben-Gurion’s statement, supporting Mrs. Meir’s stand, was thought necessary in view of the fact that he was on leave when the entire issue became public. He remained on leave during a debate on the issue in Parliament and during two Cabinet meetings where the matter was discussed.