Israeli Chief of Staff General David Elazar told a press conference on Thursday (24 February) in Tel Aviv -- his first for foreign journalist -- that massive Soviet involvement in the Middle East could upset the present balance of power in the region.
LV & CU Elazar seated for conference (2 shots)
LV ZOOM IN Elazar speaking
SCU Elazar answers question on Soviet involvement
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: GENERAL ELAZAR: "Preparations of the Egyptian forces have to be regarded in comparison to our ability of defend the present cease-fire lines. I would say that there are great preparations on the Egyptian side, they received a lot of new armament, they had many manoeuvres, and they prepared themselves to some extent. The question is, is it enough, against our preparations our power, and according to the balance of power between us and Egypt. I believe that the present balance of power our forces and the Egyptian forces are not different than they were in 1967 and that has to be the indications how I estimate their chances."
"First of all, there was a Russian involvement even during the war of attrition. I believe that a limited Russian involvement cannot change significantly the balance of power between us and the Egyptian forces. I believe that we are still superior, even when is a limited Russian involvement. I cannot say the same in case of a massive Russian involvement. And our interest is that the United States have to deter Russia from a massive involvement in the Middle East."
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Background: Israeli Chief of Staff General David Elazar told a press conference on Thursday (24 February) in Tel Aviv -- his first for foreign journalist -- that massive Soviet involvement in the Middle East could upset the present balance of power in the region. He also told the reporters that despite Egyptian military preparations, he believed that Israel and Egypt retained the same balance of power as had existed in 1967.
He also told reporters that Israel might be forced to "activate" its border with Lebanon after the death of two civilians in a rocket ambush on Wednesday (23 February) night."