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Dayan Claims Egyptian Pressure Delaying New U.S. Arms to Israel

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Two Israeli leaders have voiced concern that their country’s best friends do not regard its security needs with sufficient urgency. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, interviewed on Kol Israel radio yesterday charged bluntly that Egyptian pressure on the United States was preventing Israel from getting the combat aircraft it needed, “Israel is not getting a steady flow of arms” from the U.S. he said. He warned that the withholding of American supplies to Israel under Egyptian pressure was a barrier to negotiations for a peace settlement while Russia continued to supply all of Egypt’s military needs. Premier Golda Meir, addressing a Labor Party rally at Ramat Gan Friday said the main argument with “our best friend, the U.S.A. and we have no greater friend, as well as with other friendly nations, is to try to bring home to them the basic promise of Israel’s security which is secure borders. “She said the terrorist rocket attack on Petach Tikvah last Wednesday night which so far has claimed four lives. was “the best demonstration of how important secure borders are for Israel.”

Mrs. Meir disclosed that she had told visiting West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel last week: “Europeans tell us they want to ensure our security through the United Nations and even introduce foreign forces in a protective cordon. Does this mean that once peace is achieved with the Arabs. Israel has to be specially guarded? I should like to know where they have stationed special guards along the European borders after signing peace treaties?” Replying to a question, Mrs. Meir said it was no secret that one of Israels main points of discussion with Washington was that “We need more Phantoms.” She added that one Phantom costs $6 million.

Gen. Dayan said recent bellicose statements by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat raised the possibility of a resumption of hostilities within the next six months. He said the Israeli Army has made good use of the year-old cease-fire. “It has neither wasted time nor spared efforts to consolidate and strengthen its positions. Egypt will not be able to change the situation by force,” he said. Asked if Israeli forces would cress the Suez Canal in the event of a new outbreak of warfare, Dayan replied, “If I am faced with the alternative of winning the battle on the West Bank and losing one on the Eastern Bank, I would prefer the one on the Western bank.” Asked to comment on the possibility of Israel’s integration into the Nato defense network, Dayan said he did not expect such a development although the Nato chiefs recognize that increasing Soviet strength in the region changes the balance of power. He said they do not realize yet the importance of Israel being in the area and holding bases in the Sinal.

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