Sharett Sees Danger for Israel in Abdullah’s Assassination; Urges Increased Defense

The assassination of Jordan’s King Abdullah holds a warning of danger for Israel, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett declared at a political rally here today.

Pointing out that the neighboring Arab country “contains explosive materials likely to provoke a flare-up at any moment,” Mr. Sharett said that such a development could involve the Jewish state. For that reason, he insisted, Israel must increase its manpower and its defensive strength. Drawing attention to the fact that Abdullah was assassinated only a quarter of a mile from the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem, the Foreign Minister said that the killing was “not a simple murder, but a political assassination affecting the central authority” of the Jordan Government.

At another political rally in this city, Herut leader Menahem Beigin said that the assassination prevented a “disreputable shame” from befalling the Jewish people. “Abdullah’s disappearance from the political scene has prevented the conclusion of a peace treaty consecrating Israel’s forfeit of Jerusalem, Hebron and other places sacred to the Jewish people,” the former Irgun commander declared. He asserted that although Mr. Sharett would express his sorrow at the murder of the King, he would not be expressing the feelings of the Israel people “who never admitted the historical amputation of our inheritance by Jordan.”

The Davar, Tel Aviv’s Laborite daily, saw in the development in Jordan a reason for Israel to “consolidate its military and political preparedness.” Noting the recent assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rais el Solh and intensification of Egyptian and Iranian nationalism, the newspaper added: “The renewed terrorist activity by the Mufti’s followers (Abdullah’s assassin was identified as a supporter of the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem) forecasts a period of unrest and anxiety in the stormy Middle East.” Davar also felt that these developments threatened Western plans for the region.

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