TEL AVIV (Oct. 28)
Israel’s Defense Ministry has declined to comment on reports from Bonn that the German secret service was transferring 12 Soviet-built tanks from the stocks of former East Germany to Israel’s secret service, Mossad.
According to the reports, a German official justified the shipment as “entirely normal” between intelligence services of friendly countries.
But Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Cabinet apparently knew nothing of the impending transfer, which other sources in Germany said could be illegal.
The tanks and two containers filled with unspecified equipment were discovered by Hamburg police aboard the Israeli freighter Palmach II in the Elbe River port.
The ship’s manifest reportedly listed them as “agricultural equipment.” Hamburg prosecutors said they were investigating the case as a possible violation of Germany’s strict laws barring the shipment of weapons to crisis areas.