JERUSALEM, (Feb. 10)
On the eve of her departure for the United States, Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel Foreign Minister, was briefed today on the adverse effects on Israel’s agriculture of a Jordanian project to divert the Yarmuk River.
Mrs Meir will spend a month in the United States visiting larger communities and bringing a vivid picture to American Jewry of the emergency problems which Israel faces in connection with the transportation and settlement of the large masses of Jewish immigrants from Rumania.
At today’s briefing, Mrs. Meir was told by members of Foreign and Security Committee of the Knesset that the Jordanian project to divert the Yarmuk waters, for which Jordan received an aid grant of $3,000,000 from the United States, will turn the river, a tributary of the Jordan River, so that none of it will flow into the old course. Israel has rights to use water from the Yarmuk and has, in the past, used some 200,000,000 cubic meters of water annually. Unless the project is amended, Israel stands to suffer heavily from lack of this water.
Meanwhile, the project has been rushed and 700 Jordanian laborers, working around the clock, have already managed to divert some 20,000,000 cubic meters, endangering 12,000 dunams (3,000 acres) of cultivated land inside Israel.