Relations Between Israel and Jordan Reported Deteriorating; Number of Disputes Grows

“The relations between Israel and Jordan are steadily deteriorating due to the growing number of border incidents and disputes which make our work extremely difficult,” Brig. Gen. William E. Riley, head of the United Nations truce supervision staff in Palestine, declared here today.

General Riley returned this morning from Amman, capital of Jordan, where he exchanged views with the Jordanian Foreign Minister regarding the latest border dispute in the northern part of the country. The Minister reiterated the charges which were contained in a cable sent by him directly to the U.N. Security Council in which he stated that Israel forces had moved into the Rutenberg hydro-electric works “with the purpose of controlling the confluence of the two rivers Yarmuk and Jordan.”

An Israel Army spokesman last night denied the charges of frontier violation made by Jordan in its cabled complaint. “Jordan’s charges that Israel forces have occupied Jordanian territory next to the hydro-electric works known as the Rutenberg concession have come as a complete surprise to us,” he said. The accusation probably rests on the ploughing of one square kilometer of land at the intersection of the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers near the Jordan-occupied Naharayim power station by Israel farmers 18 days ago, he stated.

Pointing out that this area was clearly allotted to Israel under the armistice agreement concluded in Rhodes between Israel and Jordan, the spokesman revealed that the matter was raised at an extraordinary meeting last Wednesday between senior Israel and Jordan officers. Colonel Derider of the United Nations armistice staff suggested than that the armistice maps be examined. “All maps issued by the United Nations clearly showed the disputed area was in Israel territory,” the spokesman emphasized.

ISRAEL ARMY CHIEF WARNS JORDAN FORCE WILL BE MET BY FORCE

The Israel Army is a peace army which has no aggressive designs, but will defend each every inch of the country, Brig. Gen. Yigal Yadin, Israel Army Chief of Staff, declared today. His statement was in reply to yesterday’s threat by the Jordan Foreign Minister that the Arab Legion would eject Israel troops from land which the Jews allegedly occupied illegally.

Gen. Yadin termed “foolish and cowardly” a charge by the Jordan Foreign Minister that maps which prove that the Israelis were given possession of a disputed square kilometer of land in the Jordan-Israel armistice agreement are forgeries. He pointed out that the maps had always been in United Nations custody, and asked U.N. truce chief Gen. Riley to make an official statement on the charges. In conclusion, he warned that anyone who believes that he can change the borders of Israel by force or threat of force is fooling himself.

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