Foreign Ministry Statement on Suspension of Delivery of U.S. Aircraft to Israel

(June 11, 1981)


A day after the Israeli attack on the Iraqi atomic reactor, the U.S. officially condemned Israel for the air strike, saying that the "unprecedented character of which cannot but seriously add to the already tense situation in the area." U.S. officials later determined that Israel had violated the Arms Export Control Act by using American-built planes in the air-strike, and announced a suspension of the delivery of four F-16 jet fighters to Israel. Following is the official Israeli reaction.


We very much regret the decision of the U.S. administration to suspend delivery of aircraft to Israel. We consider this as unjust. Israel acted in self-defense against threats to its very existence by Iraq, which declares itself to be in a state of war with Israel since 1948.

Iraq actively participated in all the wars the Arab countries launched against Israel, and refused to sign either the armistice agreement or even a cease-fire.

Iraqi leaders have voiced time and again their enmity and aggressive intentions towards Israel. They neither restricted nor disguised their plans to use any weapons, be they conventional or non-conventional, against Israel.

It is in the light of this that Israel acted in self-defense, and self-defense only. Israel had tried to utilize every diplomatic avenue which was open, and only after the efforts failed, Israel was forced to take the action it took.


Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs