Israel has agreed to let the United States use its airspace for an anti-terrorist operation, the Israeli ambassador in Washington said in an interview published Friday.
"Israel offers the United States all the help deemed necessary, including the use of the Israeli airspace," David Ivri told the daily Yediot Aharonot.
He said Israel would be warned sufficiently in advance by the United States if an attack were to be launched.
"The United States will warn us before launching an attack," said the ambassador, a former chief of the Israeli air force.
However, Ivri said Washington "will not attempt to bring us into a military campaign ... giving the impression the United States are undertaking a war against a Muslim country with Israel's help."
According to press reports, during the 1991 Gulf war, Israel had been warned early a few hours in advance of the US attack against Iraq.
Iraq retaliated by firing 39 SCUD missiles with conventional warheads against Israel, killing two people and injuring hundreds, and causing serious material damage.
Israel had been preparing for a chemical warhead missile attack and had distributed gas masks to the population.
Over the past few days, Israel has started handing out masks again in the wake of the September 11 US terror attacks, in case Iraq becomes a target of Washington's anti-terrorist campaign.
US President George W. Bush called Thursday night on the United States and the rest of the world to win the war against terrorism, by resorting to any means, including military ones -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )