Israel seeks $3 billion for war damages WAR IN THE GULF

January 23, 1991|By New York Times News Service

JERUSALEM -- Basking in warm praise from Washington for its sacrifice and restraint since the Persian Gulf war began, Israel presented the United States yesterday with the bill: $3 billion.

Explaining the request during a meeting yesterday morning with Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai said the $3 billion was compensation for actual and expected damages to Israel caused by the war. He also asked for an additional $10 billion to resettle Soviet Jewish immigrants.

"We are expecting two types of aid" spread over the next five years, Mr. Modai said: direct economic assistance as well as loan and investment guarantees.

Yesterday afternoon, Israeli officials said they thought they had a reasonable chance of winning at least a significant part of this additional aid because they had heeded the U.S. request not to retaliate for Iraqi missile attacks.

Israeli officials said Mr. Modai's presentation yesterday was not a formal request because the numbers were not firm.

Mr. Modai suggested that Israel might in fact need more.

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