State Department Says Israel Will Get Some Skyhawks This Year

Some but definitely not all of the 36 Douglas A-4 Skyhawk jet bombers approved for export to Israel will be delivered in 1967, State Department officials said today. These officials said shipment would begin soon. But they did not anticipate that the entire consignment would be in Israeli hands until early in 1968.

It was revealed meanwhile that no negotiations are under way for new weapons for Israel or the five Arab states also affected by the limited lifting of the June embargo. The United States is not now undertaking new military equipment commitments because of the Administration policy, officials said in reference to the possibility of subsequent shipments to the Middle East. The items cleared for export under the Tuesday announcement by the State Department were described as a “one-shot” transaction.

(The London Daily Telegraph reported from Paris today that the French, concerned over the introduction of new sophisticated weapons into the Middle East by the Soviet Union, were considering lifting the embargo on military shipments to the area imposed by President de Gaulle last June. French military circles, it said, favored the immediate supply of the Mirage V jet fighter — the most advanced model of the plane that is the backbone of the Israeli Air Force — to Israel along with spare parts, air-to-air missiles and tanks.)

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