JERUSALEM (Jul. 27)
Premier Golda Meir disclosed in the Knesset today that the recent visit to Israel by CIA chief Richard Helms was not his first. She said there had been no discussions of the possibility of integrating Israel into NATO. She denied that any official contacts have taken place with the Soviet Union on the resumption of diplomatic relations with Moscow and denied a Time magazine report that Israel has agreed to put its facilities at the disposal of American U-2 “spy planes.” Mrs. Meir made her remarks in reply to a series of parliamentary questions today. She said with regard to Soviet contacts that the only approach had been made by Russian Journalists to their Israeli counterparts and “We do not regard these contacts as negotiations between states.”
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan disclosed in the Knesset today that there have been eight mine-laying inci- dents in Israeli territorial waters off the Gaza Strip this year which resulted in the loss of three lives and injuries to 18 persons. Dayan said there were three times as many mine-laying incidents in the same period last year but did not indicate whether there were any casualties then. He said he could neither confirm nor deny reports that the Russians have 12 submarines in the Mediterranean, some of them equipped to carry nuclear weapons or that Soviet planes with nuclear strike capability were based in Egypt. Dayan said, in reply to questions, that the balance of forces in the Middle East could lean toward the Arab states unless Israel receives the aircraft it has asked for from the U.S. to counter the Soviet build-up of Arab air power.