TEL AVIV (Jul. 9)
The Defense Ministry Wednesday issued a strenuous denial of U.S. reports that Israel had stolen sophisticated technical data for the production of cluster bombs. The Defense Ministry spokesman issued the following statement:
“Yesterday, the U.S. media published information again tying the name of the State of Israel with unlawful export of means for the production of sophisticated weapons. The Ministry of Defense this morning has carried out a check following those claims.
“The results of the check have made it clear that those claims published by the U.S. media were unfounded.
“The Ministry of Defense determines that the raising of the subject arouses serious astonishment and may unjustly prejudice Israel’s reputation and cloud the good relations prevailing between the U.S. and Israel.
“The Ministry of Defense takes a grave view of the fact that this matter has been published before the facts have been clarified. This affair relates to equipment for the production of grenades for gun projectiles independently developed by the military industries in Israel.
“The Ministry of Defense wishes to emphasize that the whole development was totally independent and that the grenades are original Israeli ones and that their production was already started some time ago. The military industries have asked for the production process to acquire industrial equipment of various kinds in the U.S.
“The Ministry of Defense declares that in order to acquire the said equipment the military mission in New York has, according to procedures, applied for export licenses from the U.S. Administration’s State Department.
“The Ministry determines that all the applications have been lawfully made and that no item, large or small, relating to this subject is exported from the U.S. to Israel without a lawful permit.
“The Ministry of Defense also resolvedly determines that there was no case here of unlawful technological export. As already stated, the entire development and the related know-how are original Israeli ones.”