TEL AVIV (Aug. 27)
The Nasser regime in Egypt is investing $500,000,000, one-seventh of its national income, in the development of ground-to-ground rockets and other offensive weapons, Shimon Peres, Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister, asserted today.
He told a rally that European experts on Arab affairs were convinced that the Arabs were serious in their unremitting threats against Israel, that they had not given up their aggressive intentions, and did not despair of realizing them.
He cited the feverish efforts of the surrounding Arab regimes to pile up arms, and noted their anti-Israel propaganda and economic warfare. He said that those measures were intended to isolate Israel, to build up an arsenal of offensive weapons, and ultimately to use these armaments against Israel. He said other weapons which Egypt is developing included pocket submarines and Egyptian-made jet planes.
The defense official said Nasser was portraying himself to various elements in the light that each wanted. He said Nasser sought to impress on the Arab leaders the notion that he had the military capability to lead an attack on Israel. At the same time, he said, the Egyptian leader boasted to African leaders he could be moderate it they supported him. To the West, said Mr. Peres, Nasser presented himself as anti-Communist, and to the East as pro-Soviet.
Under such circumstances, the Defense official said, Israel had no choice but to maintain its alertness and military strength as a deterrent.