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No Advance Cabinet Clearance for Allon Retaliation Warning, Spokesman Says

A Government spokesman said tonight that a foreign policy statement by Labor Minister Yigal Allon in Haifa yesterday had not been approved in advance by the Cabinet which has not yet established guidelines on the authority of ministers to express their views. Gen. Allon, who was a hero of Israel’s 1948 war for independence, told a Haifa newspaper yesterday that Israel would retaliate in kind against any attack by Egypt on Israel’s population centers.

The statement created a storm of public controversy and, reportedly, engendered private criticism of the Labor Minister in government circles for its implication that Israel might be expecting an Egyptian missile attack against its cities and would be capable of retaliating with missiles of its own. Mr. Allon had said that Israel could match any weapon Egypt acquired with the aid of a big power with weapons of her own acquired with or without big power assistance.

Some thought that Allon’s statement constituted a breach of security. The daily Maariv said that if the Government has information to the effect that Egypt is plotting a missile attack, such information should have been disclosed by the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defense. Government officials declined to say whether they possessed such information apart from the public knowledge that Egyptians are being trained in the use of the Luna ground-to-ground missile and the Komar and Ossa type rocket-carrying boats acquired from Russia.

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