Israeli Soldiers Are Trained in West Germany, Bonn Deputy Reveals

A ranking member of the West German Bundestag, lower house of Parliament, said yesterday that Israeli soldiers are being trained in West Germany in the use of modern equipment, it was reported in the press here today from Bonn.

Hans Merten, a Social Democrat and chairman of the Parliamentary Defense Committee, declared in an interview with the Neue Ruhr Zeitung: “We provide instruction to Israeli soldiers, especially in the use of modern equipment, here in the Federal Republic.” He added that the training of small groups of Israelis in technical matters had been going on for years. The Socialist deputy emphasized, however, that West Germany “delivers neither equipment nor weapons to Israel.” Last week the Bonn Government made a series of disclosures about German military aid to Afro-Asian countries, but it was stated then that the Cabinet had not discussed military aid for Israel.

The Sunday Observer said here today that “a possible explanation of this apparent contradiction is the fact that until a few weeks ago, many Cabinet members were themselves kept in ignorance of the military aid program. The training arrangement with Israel was evidently agreed on before the recent visit to Israel of former Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss.”

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