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Nasser Threatens Israel

July 21, 1962 - President Gamal Abdel Nasser watched the armed forces of the United Arab Republic fire four rockets from the desert west of Cairo today. He indicated that Israel was within range of the rockets. The President later said the single-stage rockets could go as far as 400 miles. He said the demonstration this morning followed 14 months of experimentation by the United Arab Republic’s armed forces. When asked what the rockets were to be used for, the President asked in response: “What is the purpose of a rocket?” Israeli officials seem less perturbed by the missile reports than they are by reports that the UAR has acknowledged acquisition of MIG-21 fighters and TU-16 bombers from the Soviet Union. The jets are said to be capable of delivering more devastating payloads than the existing rockets.

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