Some 2,500 Workers to Be Fired from Plants Operated by Defense Ministry

At least 2,500 defense establishment employes will be dismissed during the 1987 working year at plants operated by the Defense Ministry, according to senior authoritative defense sources, quoted by Haaretz Monday.

Military industries will lay off about 1,500 workers, the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) about 800, and “Raphael” — the armament development authority — about 250.

In addition, employes of private industries which handle defense establishment production will also be dismissed. Haaretz says that in an effort to prevent extensive unemployment in development towns, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin has ordered that plants located in these areas be given preference in defense establishment orders.

SELLING ISRAELI WEAPONS ABROAD

The paper also reports that, by the end of February, the Defense Ministry had granted 560 individuals permission to conduct negotiations for the sale of Israeli weapons abroad, while 14 such requests were denied.

According to defense sources, the number of individuals given such permission will reach 800. But this does not enable those same individuals to sign agreements. Before signing any deal, the individual conducting negotiations must receive additional approval from the Defense Ministry.

Another report in Haaretz says that the Israel Defense Force will be forced to purchase 100 Israeli-made trucks even though it does not need them. This follows instructions by Rabin to the IDF, issued to assist the Nazareth vehicle factory and to stabilize its economic situation.

The instructions are said to have caused distress in the IDF, especially against the background of slashes in the defense establishment’s budget. Deputy Chief of Staff Amir Drori is reported to have sent a letter to Rabin opposing the purchase.

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