LONDON (Jan. 14)
Israel’s Ambassador to Britain, Aharon Remez, said on a Kol Israel radio interview from here yesterday that he had reason to believe that Britain would respond favorably to an Israeli request for arms or spare parts to replace those embargoed by France. And reports that Israel could obtain the parts from a factory in Belgium were disputed by a spokesman for the manufacturer. The London press reported yesterday that the French manufacturer of Mirage jets, Marcel Dassault, had purchased a controlling interest in a Belgian aircraft company which could supply Israel with spare parts, thereby circumventing the embargo. A spokesman for the Dassault firm said in Brussels that the French and Belgian Governments had signed an agreement when Dassault moved into Belgium last year forbidding the sale of Mirages to third countries without France’s approval.
The Mirage has been the backbone of Israel’s Air Force. During the Six-Day War, Gen. de Gaulle embargoed 50 ordered — and since fully paid for — by Israel. They are in a French warehouse and the Paris Government has indicated that under embargo custom it need not refund the money.