State Dept. Sees Israel ‘exaggerating’ Need for Arms, Soviet Aid to Arabs

State Department sources said today that the Department believes Israel is exaggerating her need for additional military equipment and the extent of the Soviet military build-up of Arab states. Speaking on the record, however, Spokesman Robert McCloskey said the Department had “no detailed information” on the Soviet resupply of the Arabs.

Responding to questions about Israel’s desire to purchase 50 Phantom F-4 jets to replace aircraft canceled by France, Mr. McCloskey said “I can neither confirm nor deny that such a request was made.”

Rep. Jonathan Bingham, New York Democrat, today wrote President Johnson on the need for the United States to take greater responsibility for Israeli military needs, in view of the French termination of supplies to Israel. Rep. Bingham cited reports that the Administration was responding negatively to the Israeli requests at this juncture.

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