JERUSALEM (Mar. 24)
The Israel Cabinet today discussed the attitude of the West German Government permitting German scientists to work on nuclear missiles in Egypt to be used against Israel. It was reported later that Israel expects from the West German Government a formal reply on this issue, and does not regard as final a statement made at a press conference in Bonn by a government spokesman, Guenther von Hase, that the German authorities could not halt the work of German scientists in Egypt.
Israeli officials were surprised by the Bonn Government’s request to Switzerland, asking that the Swiss extradite Joseph Ben-Gal, an Israeli, and Prof, Otto Jukelik, an Austrian. The two are in jail at Basle, charged with having “threatened” the daughter of Dr. Jens Goerke, one of the West German scientists employed by the Egyptian Government. The German request is based on allegation that Ben-Gal and Jukelik were involved not only in trying to influence Dr. Goerke to disassociate himself from the Egyptian weapons program but also in the abortive gun attack Feb. 20 against another German rocket expert, Prof. Hans Kleinwachter.
Informed sources here today denied that Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion plans to communicate with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on this entire subject. “So far, there is no such intention, ” it was stated. Mr. Ben-Gurion is still on vacation, and is not expected to return to his office until Tuesday. He did not participate in today’s meeting of the Cabinet.
Bonn’s general attitude is evoking misgivings in official circles here, however. “We find it impossible to understand how the German Government can treat lightly this matter, affecting Israel’s very existence, and how it can be willing to plead helplessness in the face of work by Nazi-oriented experts employed by Egypt in its plan to destroy Israel,” officials said.