JERUSALEM (Jan. 16)
In a move to present the United Nations and the Christian world with a fait accompli and to forestall the functions of a United Nations Commissioner for the Holy Places in Jerusalem, the Jordan Government yesterday officially installed Ragheb Nashahibi, former Arab mayor of Jerusalem, as “Supreme Guardian of the Holy Places.” Mr. Nashahibi is a member without portfolio of the Jordan Cabinet.
Catholic circles indicated today that they consider the move a violation of the status quo in relation to the Holy Places. Israel observers pointed out that in the proclamations issued in connection with the Nashahibi installation, the Holy Places over which he will be the guardian are not specified, and would seem to include the Wailing Wall and other Jewish Holy Places.
The installation ceremony took place at Rowda College, seat of the Jordan Government in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was attended by members of the Jordan Cabinet and by diplomatic representatives of Great Britain, United States, Netherlands, Turkey and Greece. However, it was boycotted by the Apostolic delegate, the Latin Patriarch and the diplomatic representatives of France, Belgian, Italy, Spain and other Catholic countries.
Also absent from the ceremony were the Consuls of Iran, Ethiopia and Switzerland. The Consuls of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia were not invited.