JERUSALEM (Aug. 21)
A high-level United Nations approach to Jordan and Israel to secure abatement of the present tense border situation was forecast here today in connection with the Middle East visit of Andrew Cordier, executive assistant to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.
Mr. Cordier arrived in Beirut today. He is to visit Amman, the Jordanian capital, tomorrow and Jerusalem on Friday. Major Gen. E. L. M. Burns, the UN truce supervision chief, unexpectedly flew to Beirut to confer with him today. Mr. Cordier’s visit was originally of an administrative nature and unconnected with the truce supervision organization.
Israel refused today to attend an emergency session of the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission called for tomorrow and protested that the action of Col. J. L. Castonguay, of Canada, chairman of the commission, in calling the meeting was “unprecedented.”
The call followed a complaint by Jordan that Israel tanks had approached within six kilometers of the defensive zone. An Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman described the incident as a “technical lapse.”
(In Amman, Jordanians claimed that two Israeli soldiers had been killed in a clash on Jordan territory near Jenin. The Arabs claimed a 30-man Israel force had violated the frontier.)
The Israel. Foreign Ministry spokesman said that in the past, Israel requests for emergency meetings on complaints “incomparably more serious” had been rejected Israel, he said, is still awaiting United Nations action against Jordan for non-compliance with fundamental provisions of the armistice agreement which are much more serious than, the technical breach alleged in the Jordan complaint.
The new development followed within 24 hours a decision by the Mixed Armistice. Commission sharply condemning Jordan for last week’s bus ambush in the Arava area of the Negev, near the Jordanian frontier. The attack cost the lives of four persons–including a woman and three Israel soldiers–and wounded eight persons, of whom three are in serious condition. The attack, according to the Commission, was “unprovoked,” and was carried out by “a force of approximately 15 aggressors who had crossed the demarcation line from Jordan controlled territory into Israel.”