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Israel Ready to Meet Jordan’s Aggressive Policy, Eshkol Warns

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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol today warned Jordan that Israel was keeping a close watch on the situation in that country, and that any attempt on the part of the Amman Government to adopt a more aggressive, nationalistic policy would result in serious consequences–regardless of any external aid sought by Jordan.

Addressing the graduation exercises of Israel’s Army staff and Command School, attended by Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres, former chiefs of staff and senior Army officers, Mr. Eshkol dwelt at length on the situation in the Middle East. He asserted that a thaw in the East-West Cold War was an essential condition to any improvement in the Mideast political climate. Israel, he said, has never given up attempts to achieve contact with the Arab countries, and such attempts would continue.

Declaring that present conciliation efforts between Egypt and Jordan might be seen by the Amman authorities as a remedy to current internal difficulties, Mr. Eshkol stressed that such efforts afforded Nasser a means of achieving his goal of absorbing Jordan into the Egyptian framework of aggression.

“Hussein’s visit to the United States has contributed to his personal prestige, but it is doubtful if this will help him on the fateful day,” Mr. Eshkol declared. King Hussein was fooling himself, he said, with the idea that his request for Western aid for purposes far exceeding genuine defense needs will prevent his country’s collapse. He warned that any change or development in Jordan “concerns us directly–hence we must keep our eyes open. Israel’s plans for political and security readiness must take this into consideration.”

Turning to the situation on the Syrian border, the Premier stressed that Israel will not accept efforts by Damascus to change the military situation along the border into a political one. “Cur borders will not be abandoned,” he asserted, adding that “Syria knows that political means are not the only measure Israel can use.”

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