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Israel Cabinet Discusses Diplomatic Steps Against Jordan and Lebanon

The Israel Government indicated today that it will take diplomatic steps to make clear it would hold Jordan responsible for further acts of sabotage originating from Jordanian territory. At the same time it was reported that Israel had started a similar effort to warn Lebanon of the dangers that could arise from Lebanese resumption of its share of the Arab project to divert tributaries of the Jordan River to deny its waters to Israel.

Plans for the diplomatic actions emerged following a Cabinet meeting yesterday at which the sabotage raids and the resumption of the Lebanese diversion project were discussed. Two sabotage attacks took place last week.

In a related development, Chief of Staff Gen. Izhak Rabin declared last night that Israel might have to resort to force to convince the neighboring Arab countries that there would be no peace on their side of the Arab-Israel border as long as the Arabs barred peace on Israel’s side.

Premier Eshkol, in his review to the Cabinet, reportedly stressed the position that Jordan must assume responsibility for the raids by members of the new terrorist group, El Fatan, which has headquarters in Syria but is currently operating from Jordanian territory. The Cabinet was told that previously, Jordanian authorities had taken measures to curb Fatah activities but that it now appeared that such measures had been slackened.

The Premier reported that diplomatic efforts were being made in western capitals concerning Lebanon’s resumption of diversion efforts. He said the western sources had been urging moderation in Israel’s response, a course which Israel has been following. It was indicated, however, that Israel could not remain passive if the diversion work was continued, a view the Premier conveyed last week to United States Ambassador Walworth Barbour.

Gen. Rabin issued his warning at a dinner meeting in Tel Aviv with members of a United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Mission, in answering questions about the Fatah raids and Israel’s policy of response. He told the mission members that while he believed that neither Jordan nor Lebanon were seeking war with Israel, they were nevertheless not using all the means available to halt the Fatah raids.

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