JERUSALEM (Mar. 5)
Further negotiations were held this weekend by Israel and Transjordan representatives seeking to conclude a non-aggression pact, it was learned here today. A meeting of the Israel-Transjordan mixed armistice commission scheduled to be held tomorrow is now expected to be called off pending parleys on the higher level.
It was learned authoritatively that official Israel quarters welcome the inability of Zamir Rafai Pasha, Transjordan Premier-designate, to form a new government. Although Rafai Pasha was the chief negotiator for Transjordan in the joint talks, the Israelis feel that he has put many unnecessary obstacles in the path of peace and that he has been less yielding than King Abdullah, himself. It is reported here that the King is moving to reinstate ex-Premier Tewfik Abdul Hude.
Rafai Pasha’s designation to form a new cabinet came last Friday, following announcement of Huda’s resignation for “reasons of health.” At that time, the Transjordan Cabinet crisis was interpreted as a sign that Abdullah was clearing the way for early conclusion of a non-aggression pact.
In Tel Aviv today, an official Foreign Ministry spokesman denied press reports from Damascus that Israel and Transjordan have already signed a pact.
Meanwhile, Davar, the labor daily, stated that reports to the effect that a peace treaty will soon be concluded are “premature.” Pointing out that the talks have been going on for a long time, the newspaper added that the negotiations for a permanent peace are not yet at a stage where specific results can be forecast.
The Israel Government, Davar said, requested a partial settlement of at least the important questions on which the two countries are in conflict. However, it seems that some political groups in Transjordan are strongly opposed to any kind of settlement, the paper reported. It added that the Israel Government has made it clear that it is not interested in accepting any text of an agreement which lacks clarity and which includes clauses open to several interpretations.
A total of 1,227 Arab refugees from Palestine returned to Israel between July, 1949, and February of this year, it was announced today. Their return was arranged within the framework of the plan for reuniting Arab families in Israel proposed by the Jewish state.