JERUSALEM (Jun. 18)
Premier David Ben Gurion, in his capacity of Minister of Defense, today declared the Hartuv-Beit Jibrin area a “security zone.” Hartuv is located about 15 miles west of Jerusalem, while Beit Jibrin is about 12 miles south of Hartuv.
It was this area which was frequently mentioned last week in official Israel reports of battles between Jewish troops and Arab infiltrees from Transjordan territory. The setting off of the area as a “security zone” in an effort to end the infiltrations may be followed by the removal of portions of the local population which has been aiding and abetting the marauders, informed sources said today.
It is understood that this measure will in no way interfere with the functioning of the mixed Israel-Transjordan armistice commission, nor with the operation of the planned mixed border patrols. Neutral U.N. sources have expressed the opinion that the move may help in ending the border clashes.
Last night a total of 66 Arab infiltrees were rounded up by Israel security forces in various parts of the Negev. A number of encounters between Israel units and Arab marauders were reported, with the heaviest attack of the night launched against Kibbutz Saad.
(Five of the seven member states of the Arab League yesterday signed a defensive pact, it was reported today from Alexandria. Transjordan boycotted the meeting and Iraq abstained on the pact. It was reported that the Council sent the U.S., Britain and France a reply on their Near East arms statement refusing to accept the armistice lines in Palestine as permament boundaries, rejecting big power interference in Arab internal affairs and expressing the hope that the Western powers do not intend to equalize the total of Arab arms with Israel weapons.)