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German Cabinet Agrees to Send Military Equipment to Israel

January 30, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The German Cabinet agreed unanimously Tuesday to supply Israel with anti-aircraft missiles and an advanced system that instantly warns of a poison gas attack.

The move came on the heels of a decision last week by the Bonn government to provide Israel with $165 million in humanitarian aid.

In Vienna, the Austrian leadership endorsed the idea of giving humanitarian aid to Israel in view of its status as a non-combatant that has come under attack in the Persian Gulf war.

The Bonn government’s decision was promptly endorsed by the opposition Social Democratic Party, which said the shipments were justified on practical and moral grounds.

It was adopted after Chancellor Helmut Kohl delivered a brief report of his talk Monday evening with the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Benjamin Navon. Their meeting also was attended by Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who just returned from a visit to Israel, and Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg.

The “shopping list” Navon presented to Kohl includes an unspecified number of Hawk surface-to-air missiles.

Perhaps most important, given Israel’s fears of a chemical attack from Iraq, are the Nuclear Biological Chemical reconnaissance systems it will receive from Germany.

The system, mounted on an armored vehicle, is a sophisticated instrument to detect and warn of attacks with non-conventional arms — nuclear, biological or chemical. It is said to be the most advanced device of its kind in the world.

The mobile NBC system can tell in seconds whether a specific installation or area has been subjected to attack by chemical weapons and which type of poison gas was used.


The information is immensely useful in emergency situations. The authorities can use it to tell the public what kind of chemical or biological agent has been used and how to protect against it.

Other types of military equipment Germany will supply to Israel were not specified. They are believed to consist of a wide variety of tools and materials to protect the civilian population against non-conventional weapons.

Israel reportedly dropped Patriot missiles from its list because those Germany can supply are only effective against aircraft, not missiles.

Meanwhile, a delegation of B’nai B’rith International, headed by its president, Kent Schiner, helped secure a promise of Austrian aid for Israel.

Schiner, fresh from opening a new B’nai B’rith lodge in Prague, met Tuesday with Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in Vienna after a meeting Monday night with Vice Chancellor Josef Riegler.

The delegation urged the Austrian leaders to support Israel as one of the “front-line” nations allied with the forces arrayed against Iraq.

Riegler endorsed humanitarian aid for Israel at a meeting of the Austrian Cabinet.

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