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The State Department is investigating reports that Israel gave China U.S. aviation technology to build a fighter jet. If true, the illegal transfer would trigger U.S. sanctions. The announcement came in response to an Associated Press report quoting a senior Israeli official as saying Israel had sold China "some technology on aircraft" under contracts "very small in magnitude." Said State Department spokesman Mike McCurry, who conceded that rumors of such a transfer had been circulating for some time: "Those types of reports concern us very deeply."TIME State Department correspondent J.F.O. McAllisternotes this is not the first time U.S. officials have believed that Israel sold arms to third parties. A March, 1992 report by the State Department's inspector general said a certain country -- which it didn't name -- had violated international arms-trading agreements many times. But the report, says McAllister, "was ignored because it was Israel."