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Gur Says Armed Forces Strengthened

September 7, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur said in an Army Radio interview over the weekend that Israel’s armed forces are now strong enough to give Israel almost complete freedom of political maneuver during the coming year. He warned, however, that cuts in the defense budget would limit freedom to maneuver between political and military constraints.

In the course of the interview, Gur charged that Egypt was repeatedly violating the interim agreements and that Israel’s complaints were not always supported by the United Nations or the United States. He also spoke at length of the increased use of women personnel in jobs hitherto occupied by male soldiers, sailors and airmen in order to free them for combat duty.

He disclosed that the Air Force is now offering pilot training to women. He said one woman officer is presently training to fly a Hercules transport or a helicopter. The Navy is training women for shore duties such as the operation of electronic and other sophisticated equipment which will free men for combat duty at sea.

Gur said that the armed forces have been strengthened significantly on land, sea and air during the past year. The tasks, he said, are to maintain a state of readiness along the borders, to keep alert for any changes in the Arab states and to advance development for the years ahead.

He said before future strategies can be mapped it must be established whether the Arab intention to destroy Israel will subside with time or whether the only course is for Israel to remain armed to the teeth. He said that if the Arabs seek a decisive battle with Israel there is the need for a deterrent and the condition for such a deterrent is an unbeatable Israeli army.

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