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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Egypt's Missiles Worrying Israel

London AL-QUDS AL-'ARABI, 27 Jun 96 p

Suddenly, and after the Cairo Arab summit conference, U.S. circles -- at Israel's behest -- began to whip up a kind of fabricated furor over Egypt's acquisition of North Korean Scud missiles whose range exceeds 150 km.

Israel -- which is in possession of more than 300 nuclear warheads, modern factories for the manufacture of missiles and satellites, and thousands of advanced aircraft and tanks -- is concerned over Egypt's possession of Scud missiles or the technology needed to manufacture them in cooperation with North Korea. It considers this a threat to peace in the region.

Since the Hebrew state draws up U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, it was natural for leaks to begin to be sent to the U.S. press about these missiles and their violation of the peace treaty signed in Camp David, the treaty which stipulates the nonacquisition of any offensive weapons -- only weapons needed for defense purposes.

The Scud missiles, of which Iraq fired 39 against Israel during the second Gulf war, all of which hit their targets but without any tangible material or human losses, are considered by the Israeli Government offensive weapons which Egypt should be prevented from acquiring. It is not difficult to know the reasons behind this fabricated furor. The rulers of Israel, which has elected an extremist right-wing government, had never thought that Egypt would host an expanded Arab summit to discuss the seriousness of the Israeli deviation from the peace process and to warn of a halt to the normalization process as a reply to any settlement in the occupied Arab territories.

The Israelis want the Egyptian leadership to forget its historic and cultural standing and to turn into a subservient state in order to help them to infiltrate and dominate the Arab region. This is the explanation for the Israeli-U.S. anger at Egypt and its leadership since it took the initiative and invited Arab leaders to Cairo to consult over how to deal with the results of the Israeli elections.

But Egypt is proving day after day that it is not an obedient lamb that implements all the Israelis' wishes without any discussion. Egypt's reaction to Christopher's support for Netanyahu's settlement program reflects this fact clearly. Thus we would not be surprised if the Zionist lobby's supporters in the U.S. Senate began to talk about suspending their country's annual aid to Egypt, which totals more than $2 billion.

This is a new Israeli-U.S. provocation to Egypt which will result in very serious consequences, because it will aggravate the people's indignation which prevails in Egypt and the Arab region as a whole as a result of the continued U.S. insults and the deliberate Israeli humiliation.

Egypt has the absolute right to acquire any weapons and military equipment it deems suitable, because it is a major sovereign state, and any attempt to impair its sovereignty will lead to adverse, if not catastrophic, results for them before anyone else. When Egypt rebelled and led the region in a confrontation against Israel and the West, U.S. interests were harmed most. As for Israel, it has always experienced the specter of war.

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