JERUSALEM (Jan. 19)
The results of the Arab summit meeting held for five days at Cairo last week were discussed by israel’s Cabinet here today. Following the Cabinet session, it was assumed that, while Israel may warn the Arab states against any aggression, the Israel Government will not let itself be drawn into the orbit of artificial tensions which the Arab states are trying to create.
Observers here noted that, while the communique issued Friday at Cairo, following the close of the conference attended by 13 heads of Arab states or their high-ranking representatives, was full of expected anti-Israeli accusations, it was vague on practical measures that the Arabs might take to interfere with Israel’s plan to draw Jordan River waters through Lake Tiberias for irrigating the upper reaches of the semi-arid Negey Desert. The vagueness, it was emphasized, was not clarified through the statement issued later by Abdel Khalek Hassouna, secretary-general of the Arab League.
Mr. Hassouna had announced formation of a joint, Arab military commend to confront any military action by Israel,” stating that Lt. Gen, All Amer, chief of staff of the Egyptian forces, has been named as commander. Mr. Hassouna also spoke of decisions by the summit conference to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River and its major tributaries in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. But there was doubt here about the degree of genuine unanimity achieved by the Arab leaders. Arab disputes still exist between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria, Morocco and Algeria.
The Syrian-Egyptian disagreement, it is evident to observers here, has only been intensified during the Cairo meeting. Syria may have insisted on military action against Israel to boost its own reputation for militance and to prove to the Arab world that it is more anti-Israeli than Egypt.
Doubts were expressed here whether the Arabs will really embark on the projects for diversion of the Jordan head waters and tributaries, so as to rob Israel of about half of the Jordan River’s normal water flow. Implementation of such projects would take several years and vast sum of money. It would have to be financed through oil revenues from those Arab states–Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya–that are not directly touched by Jordan waters and stand to gain no direct benefits from the proposed diversion projects.
The final communique, issued on behalf of the conference by Mr. Hassouna, was full of the usual Arab denunciations of Israel as a “colonialist state “guilty of aggression. ” The communique re-emphasized the Arab views about the alleged danger of Zionism” and urged that the Palestine Arabs organize “to play their role in liberating the country and determining its future.”
GOLDA MEIR ASSURES SOVIET AND BRITISH ENVOYS ON JORDAN RIVER PLAN
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, met today with Soviet and British diplomats here to stress that the Israeli tap of Jordan River water will not interfere with the water resources of the neighboring Arab countries.
She also said that the Israelis plan could be easily integrated into a regional water plan if the Arabs were willing to cooperate, Mrs. Melr’s recent meetings with convoys