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U.S. Discontinues Airlift to Jordan Through Israel; Notifies Israel

The American Embassy today officially informed the Israel Government that the American airlift to Jordan through Israeli territory was concluded this morning.

The announcement by the American Embassy came while the Israel Cabinet approved today a government reply to the Soviet Union’s protest against Israel permitting the airlift. The text of the reply will be made public tomorrow, after having been received by Moscow. However, it is generally assumed that, while the wording of the reply is mild and polite, it actually rejects the Soviet protest.

Premier David Ben Gurion told the Cabinet today that the airlift over Israel territory was actually concluded this morning. The news was received with relief by the members of the Cabinet representing the left-wing groups Mapam and Achdut Avodah who opposed the airlift. It is believed that they acceded to Mr. Ben Gurion’s request today that the entire matter should be considered as closed.

When Britain and the United States requested last week permission to resume their airlifts to Jordan through Israel airspace, the Israel Government refused the British request, but permitted the American airlift which had been scheduled to last only a few days.

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