Tel Aviv (Jul. 1)
Richard Holms, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, left Israel today with his 12-member entourage after a series of top secret meetings with Israeli officials, including Premier Golda Meir, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Foreign Minister Abba Eban. His immediate destinations are believed to be Turkey and Iran. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today that the CIA chief was invited to Israel by Dayan when the latter met him on a visit to Washington last year. According to informed sources. Helms and his aides held working sessions with Israeli officials for the past few days. One of the major subjects said to have been discussed was the expansion of Soviet intelligence in the Mideast. The USSR is believed to be operating what was described as an advanced intelligence device in this area. That fact, coupled with increased activity by known Russian agents, has indicated to some circles that Moscow may be planning an important move. Helms’ visit to Israel was supposed to be top secret until it was leaked to news sources in the United States this week. The Foreign Ministry admitted yesterday that Helms was in Israel. Last night he met with former Premier David Ben-Gurion. Helms visited Sharm el-Sheikh. He was entertained by U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour yesterday and on Tuesday attended a party in his honor given by Gen. Dayan. Helms took off in a CIA-owned Boeing 707 jet from a runway close to the Lydda Airport terminal which was heavily guarded by Israeli security personnel. This morning’s four-hour strike by airport employes did not effect his departure. Helms’ jet was serviced by personnel provided by Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd, a private firm.