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Israelis Threatened by Jordan’s Move to Divert Yarmuk River

Israel settlements in the Jordan Valley are faced with a new lazard, a threatened Jordanian move to divert the Yarmuk River, one of the major tributaries of the Jordan River, and thus cut them off from adequate supplies of life giving water.

Jordan’s threatened action, revealed in a concentration of heavy earth moving machinery and the erection of a huge labor camp in an area south of Lake Tiberias where the Yarmuk enters the larger stream, strikes the Israelis as the height of unilateral disregard for the rights of others. When Israel in recent years attempted to divert a portion of the Jordan’s waters, the opposition from Jordan–and Syria–was so furious that it frequently broke into shooting.

The Yarmuk River runs from east to west and, in a number of places, constitutes the appears to between Jordan and Syria and between Syria and Israel. The Jordanian Intention appears to be to extend the course of the Yarmuk southward at a point before It enters the Jordan River.

At one time, Eric Johnston. President Eisenhower’s personal envoy to the Middle East, proposed a regional water plan, one feature of which was common Israeli-Syrian-Jordanian use of the Yarmuk. Before the War of Liberation and the partition of Palestine, the Yarmuk’s waters were used to drive the turbines of a hydroelectric power station at Naharayim.

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