February 3, 1999

Defense Ministry Response to Washington Times Article

(Communicated by Defense Ministry Spokesman)

The Defense Ministry wishes to clarify that the allegations published in the Washington Times on 27.1.99, according to which Israelis involved in the development of the Nautilus weapons system which employs lasers in the intercept of Katyusha missiles are transferring secret data to China, are completely baseless.

Israel has never shared classified American technology passed during joint US-Israeli efforts to develop a laser-based weapons system, and no Israeli personnel have tried to obtain restricted information from American contractors involved in the Nautilus project. All Israeli activities have been conducted in precise conformity with the relevant agreements, including those governing project security and delineating the extent of cooperative efforts with the United States in the Nautilus program.

All inferences that Israel has circumvented the terms of its agreement with the United States are unfounded. Furthermore, in Israel’s view, it would be appropriate for the American sources cited by the Washington Times to publicly refute the charges levelled against Israel by the newspaper.