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U.S. Pressures Israel to Permit Resumption of Overflights to Jordan

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Premier David Ben Gurion met separately last night with United States Ambassador Edward B. Lawson and British Ambassador Sir Francis Rundall, reportedly to discuss permission for resumption of overflights for troop and supply planes from Cyprus to Jordan.

Despite the additional American pressure, Israeli sources maintained today that there has been no change in Israel’s refusal to permit transit of her territory. These same sources hold that the addition of a few thousand more British troops cannot keep Jordan from disintegrating nor Nasser from expanding.

Three weeks ago, when Israel permitted the first British overflights of paratroopers, Israel hoped that the landings in Lebanon and Jordan represented the beginning of a determined Western effort to block further Nasser advances. This has not happened. As a result, Israel had decided it must follow an independent course in relation to Jordan based on her own security needs.

(The New York Times reported today from Amman capital of Jordan, that top level United States and British diplomatic quarters were urging the Israeli Government to reconsider its refusal to permit air fleets to fly over its territory. One of the arguments they presented was that Israel’s stand will unquestionably be interpreted in the Arab world as an example of successful Soviet pressure on behalf of the United Arab Republic and as a blow to Western prestige.)

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