German Army, IDF May Cooperate

The German and Israeli defense forces are studying a plan for cooperation between units of both armies.

The idea was hatched during the official visit to Israel last week by the German army chief of staff, Gen. Klaus Naumann, according to a spokesman for the Bundeswehr, the German army.

The project would be part of an effort to promote cooperation and understanding between the Bundeswehr and the Israel Defense Force at all levels, the spokesman said.

Naumann, upon his return from Israel, said that both countries are seeking ways to bring together their soldiers in exchange programs designed to advance mutual understanding.

Such a project would do much to turn around feelings of apprehension and even hatred that have existed among Israelis, particularly Holocaust survivors and their families, and Germans.

Naumann said he had met hundreds of young Israelis and had the impression they are fair-minded toward Germany. But many of those he met voiced concerns over the current wave of neo-Nazi attacks on foreigners.

Other areas of heightened German-Israeli cooperation in the wake of Naumann’s visit will focus on arms technology, especially on cost-saving measures to improve existing weapons systems, and in training and education.

As part of the plan, Israeli officers would also take part in advanced courses at the Hamburg-based military academy.

An exchange of naval visits was mutually encouraged during a meeting between Naumann and Israeli navy Commander Ami Ayalon.

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