JERUSALEM (Oct. 5)
A charge by Pravda, the official Soviet Government newspaper, that Israel was planning to invade Syria and overthrow its government evoked an emphatic rebuff today from Israel. A Foreign Ministry spokesman described the charge as “completely groundless.”
The development occurred against a background of Syrian forecasts of imminent hostilities with Israel which surprised Israeli officials. They were equally amazed by Syrian statements that such a conflict would spread to other Arab states.
While Middle East experts here viewed Syria’s armed forces as of high quality for this part of the world, they also agreed that a Syrian attack on Israel would mean war under-taken in the face of Egyptian displeasure. Egypt, with 50,000 troops tied down in the Yemen civil war, has made it plain it does not want a military shown with Israel until, as President Nasser has repeatedly said, he feels victory is assured.