State Department Still Reviewing Israel’s Requests for Phantoms

A State Department source told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that Israel’s request for more F-4 Phantom jets was still under review. The source, in effect, denied conclusions drawn from a story in today’s Washington Post that “we won’t give anything to Israel.” The source said that was “simply untrue.” Michael Getler, Washington Post staff writer, reported today that Pentagon analysts believe that from a strictly military viewpoint, Israel does not need additional Phantoms at this time despite the heavy build-up of Soviet warplanes in the Arab air forces. The State Department source said “All of our people (the U.S. Government) agree that the (military) balance is not presently at a disadvantage to Israel. We just wouldn’t let it get that way.” The source could not say when a decision on Israel’s request for more Phantoms would be made.

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