WASHINGTON (Mar. 30)
The State Department disclosed today that “Items of surplus military equipment have gone to Israel recently.” The disclosure was made by Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey at a press briefing. Mr. McCloskey said the shipment wasn’t announced at the time it was sent. He could not say what the items consisted of but noted that other governments have received military equipment under the Surplus Stocks Program. He defined “surplus” as material not in the current generation of weaponry. With regard to the equipment sent to Israel, Mr. McCloskey said, “My guess is that it’s all purchased.” The matter came up when the State Department spokesman was questioned on the recent unannounced shipment of military equipment to the Chinese Nationalist regime on Taiwan. Earlier in the briefing, Mr. McCloskey was asked if Israel had requested “Shrike” missiles to offset the Soviet-made SAM-3 anti-aircraft missiles installed in Egypt. He replied that he never heard of a “Shrike” missile. He said the Israeli Government has purchased missiles from the U.S. but indicated that this was not recently.