Rabin Says Israel Has ‘answer’ to Missile Boats Given Arabs by USSR

Israel has an answer to the Kcmaa missile boats supplied recently by Russia to Egypt and Syria, Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Chief of Staff, declared today in a statement emphasizing Israel’s attention to missile warfare capability, Gen. Rabin made the disclosure, without giving details of the “answer,” as Israel celebrated its 16th anniversary.

Declaring that Israel was watching carefully the missile developments in Egypt, he said that, once the missiles were operational, the danger to Israel would be great–but that it appeared the Egyptian missiles were not yet operational. “Egyptian efforts in the production of missiles, operating various types of missiles, has put Israel too an a missile program spread over a number of years,” he declared. Again without going into detail, Gen. Rabin asserted that Israel now had more possibilities of getting additional arms from friendly nations “and we now get more from these countries than at any time before. ” He pointed out that Israeli purchasing was limited by a “question of funds, “

He reported that Israel’s striking forces had been strengthened, particularly the Air Force, which now had French-made Mirage jet interceptors which, he said, are the best planes available to Israel. He added that the Mirage jets could match the Soviet Mig-21 jets supplied to Egypt by Russia.

He also reported that President Nasser of Egypt was increasing the Egyptian Army, doubling it from its present three divisions to six divisions. He said two of the new divisions were already functional, and the third is nearing completion. He mentioned Israel’s armor and artillery corps as having also made important gains in quantity and quality.

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