JERUSALEM, FEB. 4 -- Two Iraqi armored divisions were cut to pieces during ground and air battles in Saudi Arabia and southern Kuwait last week, and about 10 percent of Iraq's tanks, armored vehicles and artillery have now been destroyed, official Israeli sources said today.

Offering a relatively optimistic picture of allied progress in the Persian Gulf War, the officials said Iraq had only seven or eight mobile missile launchers left in western Iraq with which to target Israel, and had moved these away from the air bases from which they originally operated.

{A senior U.S. military official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, disputed the Israeli assessment of last week's fighting. "I wish we had done that well," the official said. "I have not heard any reports that positive."

{He said the Iraqis did not have two armored divisions within easy reach of U.S. forces in the skirmishes, and that classified estimates of the destruction of Iraqi armored vehicles did not reach 10 percent. "We don't know enough to support such a statement," the official said.

{Another official, who has been briefed on the latest damage estimates, said the 10 percent figure was "a little optimistic." He also said Israel had no basis for stating the precise number of Scud missile launchers remaining in western Iraq "unless they have some highly reliable human source we don't know about."}

The Israeli officials said that despite heavy damage to Iraqi military targets, a Jordanian delegation that recently traveled to Baghdad and met Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was forcefully rebuffed when it asked the Iraqi leader to stop launching Scud missiles at Israel over Jordanian territory. The same day Saddam met the delegation, another missile was fired at Israel, the sources said.

The officials, who did not indicate where their information came from, also offered an Israeli assessment of last week's Iraqi ground actions in Khafji and other areas of eastern Saudi Arabia. They said the Iraqi push represented an attempt at a major offensive that Saddam hoped would change the course of the war.

"This was not a skirmish as some say. It was a very major battle, and a severe defeat for Saddam," said one official source familiar with Israeli intelligence reports.

The Israeli accounts of the war were provided at a time when the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is trying to encourage the U.S.-led alliance to continue its battle against Iraq until the country's military machine is destroyed and Saddam is removed from power. In pursuing their interest, Israeli officials have sometimes played down the difficulties allied forces face in fighting Iraq.

In a press conference today, the army's chief spokesman, Gen. Nachman Shai, told reporters that Israel is "encouraged at the outcome so far" of the war "and looks forward to a full military victory." He added, however, that Israel still expected more Iraqi missile attacks, and was concerned that Saddam could try to use chemical weapons against Israeli civilians.

Shai's estimate of seven or eight remaining mobile missle launchers was half that cited by Israeli sources one week ago. The army spokesman also noted that while 25 Iraqi missiles had slammed into Israel in the first nine days of the war, only five had fallen in the second nine days.

Official sources said Iraq had responded to intensive allied air pressure by moving its remaining mobile launchers from their original attack sites at air bases in western Iraq to sites closer to the Iraqi-Syrian border. The move explained why the last four Iraqi missiles fell well short of their targets on the Israeli coast, hitting areas in the occupied West Bank, the officials said.

"They are having trouble finding the range" from the new area, one official said, adding that it was still possible that Scud operators could zero in on Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities from the new positions.

Shai said that by Israel's count, about 20 percent of the Iraqi air force has been eliminated, along with most air defenses and 10 percent of its armor and artillery. He added that Israel's evaluation showed that 50 percent of Iraq's nuclear and chemical capability had been eliminated -- a lower estimate than that provided by U.S. officials, who say the nuclear facilities were destroyed.

Shai did not provide details of Israel's assessment of the air and ground combat in the gulf. But other official sources said that two Iraqi divisions were mobilized for the attacks on and near the Saudi town of Khafji, six miles from the border. The operation was poorly executed and much of the attacking force was decimated by allied planes before it could leave Kuwait, the Israeli sources said. By their account, between 400 and 500 Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed in the battle.

Asked why an allied victory of this scale had not been spelled out by U.S. military leaders, the Israeli source speculated that commanders in Saudi Arabia may hope that Saddam is not fully informed about the extent of the defeat, and may still be lured into sending more of his forces into the open desert.

In an indication of Saddam's morale, Israeli sources said the Jordanian delegation that met with him last week returned to Amman frightened by the hostile manner in which it was addressed by Saddam.