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Dinitz to Lodge Protest Against Proposed U.S. Plane Sale to Egypt

Premier Menachem Begin said yesterday that he has instructed Ambassador Simcha Dinitz to lodge a strong protest in Washington against the Administration’s proposed sale of military transport and reconnaissance aircraft to Egypt. He charged, in on address to the Knesset, “Every supply of weaponry to a country at war with Israel is a negative act and an obstacle on the road to peace.”

After an 8 1/2-hour debate, the Knesset voted 59-36 to approve Begin’s report on his recent mission to Washington. There were 25 abstentions. Begin was criticized by former Premier Yitzhak Rabin over the Carter Administration’s announcement that it intends to sell $200 million worth of military equipment to Egypt and that it was also prepared to sell defense weapons to Sudan. Rabin and other opposition leaders said this was an example of the political failure of Begin’s trip to the U.S. According to Rabin it proved that the Premier did nothing to improve U.S.-Israeli relations while he was in Washington.