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U.S. general cancels trip to Israel in row

Dec. 18, 2004 at 6:18 AM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper has canceled a trip to Israel because he would not meet Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron.

The action follows a dispute concerning an Israeli-Chinese arms deal, the details of which have not been disclosed.

According to the Ha'aretz news service, Israel claimed it merely engaged in routine maintenance of a system that was sold to China with U.S. consent.

The Pentagon reportedly said Israel upgraded that system, thereby violating its promise not to transfer American technology to China without Washington's permission.

Israeli sources told Ha'aretz the Pentagon instructed Jumper not to meet Yaron and the entire visit was canceled.

Those sources told Ha'aretz U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith severed ties with Yaron and, when former Israeli Air Force Cmdr. Herzl Bodinger tried to mediate, Feith said: "It's either me or Yaron."

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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