News

Voice of America 4/3/97

U-S / ISRAEL DEFENSE

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER YITZHAK MORDECHAI 
SAYS ISRAEL IS WITHIN ITS RIGHTS TO BUILD THE CONTROVERSIAL 
HAR HOMA SETTLEMENT IN EAST JERUSALEM, AND TO EXPAND 
EXISTING SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK.  MR. MORDECHAI 
IS IN WASHINGTON FOR TALKS WITH DEFENSE SECRETARY 
WILLIAM COHEN.  V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM
THE PENTAGON.

TEXT:  MR. MORDECHAI IS LEAVING NO ROOM FOR NEGOTIATION
ON THE SETTLEMENT ISSUE, AND PARTICULARLY HAR HOMA.  
BUT HE SAYS THERE IS MUCH TO DISCUSS IF YASSER ARAFAT 
CRACKS DOWN ON TERRORISM AND RETURNS TO THE 
BARGAINING TABLE.

APPEARING IN WASHINGTON WITH DEFENSE SECRETARY 
COHEN, MR. MORDECHAI SAID ISRAEL HAS A RIGHT TO BUILD
JEWISH HOUSING IN A UNITED JERUSALEM, AND THE WEST 
BANK.  AT THE SAME TIME, HE HINTED OF FLEXIBILITY BY
ISRAEL ON VARIOUS OTHER ISSUES TO IMPROVE THE LIVES 
OF PALESTINIANS, IF MR. ARAFAT ACTS TO CURB VIOLENCE
AGAINST ISRAELIS.

                   /// MORDECHAI ACTUALITY ///

WE HAVE TO HAVE BACK OUR PARTNER, CHAIRMAN ARAFAT. BUT 
IN THE BEGINNING, HE MUST -- HE AND HIS COMMANDERS -- 
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, AND DENY ALL THE TERRORISM AND 
ALL THE VIOLENCE IN THE AREA. THAT IS NECESSARY FOR US 
TO TAKE MORE RISKS AND MOVE FORWARD WITH THE PEACE. 

                         /// END ACT ///

SECRETARY COHEN, FOR HIS PART, REITERATED THE CLINTON
ADMINISTRATION'S COMMITMENT TO MAINTAINING ISRAEL'S
QUALITATIVE MILITARY ADVANTAGE IN THE REGION.  BUT HE
SUGGESTED REACHING PEACE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS IS EQUALLY
IMPORTANT FOR ISRAEL'S SECURITY.

                        /// COHEN ACT ///

THE QUALITATIVE EDGE IS ONE PILLAR OF ISRAEL'S SECURITY.
THE OTHER PILLAR OF ISRAEL'S SECURITY IS CONTINUED 
PROGRESS ON THE ROAD TO A COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT.

                         /// END ACT //

THE TWO DEFENSE CHIEFS REVIEWED ISRAEL'S U-S / SUPPORTED
"ARROW" ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM AND AN ISRAELI 
EFFORT, ALSO UNDERWRITTEN BY THE UNITED STATES, TO 
DEVELOP A HIGH-ENERGY LASER SYSTEM TO SHOOT DOWN SHORT-
RANGE "KATYUSHA" ROCKETS LAUNCHED AGAINST ISRAEL BY
GUERRILLAS IN LEBANON.

DESPITE BUDGET STRINGENCIES, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION
HAS SAID THERE WILL BE NO REDUCTION IN THE ONE-POINT-EIGHT-
BILLION-DOLLAR-A-YEAR U-S MILITARY AID PROGRAM TO
ISRAEL.  ON THE EVE OF THE MORDECHAI VISIT, THE PENTAGON
ANNOUNCED A 200-MILLION DOLLARS WEAPONS SALES PACKAGE 
TO ISRAEL INCLUDING 15 "BLACKHAWK" HELICOPTERS.   (SIGNED)

NEB/DAG/TMD/RAE

03-Apr-97 10:37 AM EST (1537 UTC)
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