Israeli officials strongly criticized the Carter administration's plans to sell warplanes to Egypt and Saudi Arabia yesterday, calling the decision a likely setback to peace negotiations and saying that it will seriously endanger Israel's security.
Foreign Mininster Moshe Dayan said in Los Angeles that it was "premature" for the United States to decide now to replace the Soviet Union as Egypts source of lethal weaponry and he warned that the move would have "bad effects on the security of Israel."
Israeli officials in Washington said the decision to sell warplanes to Egypt for the first time would have "a negative effect on Egypt's willingness to compromise and moderate its position" in the peace negotiations now under way between Cairo and Jerusalem.
Selling sophisticated jet fighters to Saudi Arabia, the Israeli officials said, increases the "likelihood of an active Saudi participation in an y future conflict with Israel."
They raised the possibility that F15s sold to Saudi Arabia would either be transferred to confrontation states such as Syria or flown by American mercenaries in any future Middle East war.
There was no immediate reaction from Israeli government officials in Jerusalem, but Israeli state radio broadcast Dayan's criticism as its lead news item last night.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin is scheduled to address the Israeli Parliament today on the status of the Middle East peace negotiations and he is expected to discuss the proposed sales to Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well as the Carter administration's decision to sell Israel only half the number of warplanes it requested.
Dayan who is in the United States on a fund-raising tour, is to arrive in Washington tonight for previously scheduled talks with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and possibly President Carter tomorrow.
While the F5E jet fighters to be sol to Egypt are relatively low capability warplanes, Israelis see the decision to supply them for the first time as a significant psychological boost for President Anwar Sadat as well as a move that once again gives Egypt the option of waging war. As a result of the break between Cairo and Moscow, its chief arm supplier, Egypt's warmaking capability has been greatly reduced.
The least one could expect is that such a decision would have waited for the successful outcome of the negotiations" between Israel and Egypt, Israeli officials said. They rejected Sadat's contention that he needed the planes to defend Egypt against Lybia, calling Lybia "far too weak" to pose a serious threat.
Of potentially greater concern, in the view of Israelis, is the proposed sale of 60 F15s to Saudi Arabia.
"Saudi Arabia," Israeli officials said, "is unable to operate much simpler equipment and is unlikely to be able to use F15s with its own manpower."
They predicted that in case of war between Israel and the Arab states, "these planes will certainly be transferred to confrontation states engaged in active fighting with Israel."
Another possibility, Israeli officials said, "is for Saudi Arabia to hire mercenaries, probably American because of their knowledge of the weapons, in order to participate actively" against Israel.
They noted that Saudi Arabia has never directly participated in a war with Israel and they said that "Israel believes that the result of the supply of these planes to the Saudi Arabians will be an increased likelihood of an active Saudi participation" in any future war.
Moshe Arens, chairman of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committees of Israel's Parliament, told the House Armed Services Committee her e yesterday that the sales to the Arab countries would be "a radical change and very significantly destabilizing" to the military balance in the Middle East.
Anticipating yesterday's announcement, Israeli Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur, said earlier in the day in a speech to troops in the occupied Sinai that "we will be in a situation where American arms will be ranged against us in the west by the Egyptians, in the south by the Saudis and in the east by the Jordanians."
Gur complained that "all will have a common technological base and we will have to compete in quantity and quality," Associated ress reported.
Theodore Bikel, chairman of the American Jewish Congress' national governing council, said his organization feared that "these arms may be used in another Egyptian war of aggression against Israel should the current peace talks break down." He said that Saudi Arabia has "no need for these arms expect for belligerent purposes against the Jewish tate."
News services reported these other Middle East developments:
A bomb exploded in a bus in the ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, killing two persons and wounding 35.
A group of American rabbies and Jewish lay' leaders met with the sheikh of Al Azhar, spiritual leader of Egyptian Moslems, as they began a week-long visit to Cairo to establish ties between Judaism and Islam.
The U. N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva condemned Israel for the eighth straight year for alleged atrocities in occupied Arab territories.
The Lebanese Parliament, in a move designed to appease Syrian anger over recent bloodshed, enacted a measure increasing the Syrian peace-keeping force's role in trying Lebanese citizens for crimes committed in Lebanon.