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Begin Had Asked Britain to Allow El Al Armed Guards Before Attack

Two months before Arab terrorists attacked the El Al bus in London, Premier Menachem Begin requested permission from the British government to allow El Al security guards to carry weapons, but the request was denied. This was officially revealed by the Prime Minister’s office yesterday as a means of clarifying recent conflicting reports on correspondence between Begin and British Prime Minister James Callaghan on the issue.

The announcement was a move to refute the British Foreign Office’s assertion that Callaghan was never asked by Israel to reconsider the British ban on arms for El Al security personnel. In addition to a letter sent to Callaghan after the June terrorist attack at Paris’ Orly Airport, Israel’s Ambassador to London, Avraham Kidron, twice raised the issue with the British government. In all instances, a negative reply was received.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan instructed Israel’s United Nations delegation to circulate a letter to UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim which noted that Arab terrorism is indirectly encouraged and fostered through UN assistance.

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