U.S. Rejects Boeing 767 Request

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The US will not be selling Boeing 767 airplanes to Israel, according to a report on Israel's Channel 10 television Thursday.

The report stated that Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the request during his visit last month with US defense officials in Washington.

According to Channel 10, Washington turned down Barak because sale of the aircraft might be interpreted as US support for an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities because it would bolster Israel's mid-air fueling capabilities.

Colonel (res.) Ephriam Kam, a former military intelligence officer now with Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Securities Studies, questioned the report's veracity because the Israel Air Force (AIF) has refueling capabilities.

Additionally, Israel's F-161 fighter jets have a 2,100-kilometer (1,300-mile) range, which theoretically would allow a round-trip to Iran 1,000 kilometers away.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) officials announced plans to bring Boeing 707s, also with mid-flight refueling capabilities, into service.

The $22.5 million project, dubbed Project Green Salad and carried out by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), will bolster the nation's mid-air refueling capabilities.

"We are talking about a very big project that will give the IAF (Israel Air Force) another refueling system," Major Shlomi Shefer said.

"The fact that the IAF will have another of these aircraft means that more planes will be able to achieve their mission. We expect this aircraft to have the ability to refuel other planes in a short amount of time," he said.

With Iran some 1,000 kilometers (approximately 622 miles) from Israel, re-fueling capabilities would play a major role should Israel decide to attack the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Web site posted his latest jab at Israel, calling the Jewish state a "germ of corruption [that will soon] be removed."

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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