WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
A report that U.S. made Sherman tanks are being provided by Israel to Lebanese Christians brought a response at the State Department that “the United States is not supplying weapons to any party fighting in Lebanon.”
“Nor to the best of our knowledge,” spokesman Robert Funseth added, “is any country violating the U.S. prohibition against transferring American supplied arms to any of the parties in Lebanon.”
Funseth pointed out that Sherman tanks “are a rather old weapon” and it is his “understanding” that such tanks are available on “the open market.” He noted that weapons on the international market are generally not covered by prohibitions.
He referred questioning reporters to the Israel government on whether Israel is or is not supplying equipment to Lebanese Christian forces. Funseth also said he was “confident” that the Israeli government knows the U.S. prohibitions on transfer of American supplied arms to another government.