Menu JTA Search

King of Jordan Bans Recruitment of Refugees into Separate Army

Jordan’s Minister of the Interior, Abdul al Majali, left his capital, Amman, for Cairo today to discuss with the Arab summit conference under way there the deepening crisis resulting from King Hussein’s ban against the recruitment of Arab refugees living in Jordan into the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to reports from Beirut received here.

The Jordanian Government announced last week it would bar the PLO’s call for refugees to enter its forces, which are being organized by Ahmad Shukairy, chairman of the PLO and top recruitment representative of the Unified Arab Command. The PLO’s objective is to heat up open warfare against Israel. In addition to recruiting refugees for the PLO, the organization is also imposing a tax on refugees who do not enlist. King Hussein has banned the tax also.

The King has stated openly that the move to organize the refugees into a fighting force would “disrupt the stability of Jordan and destroy Arab solidarity.” Calling the Shukairy drive a “treasonable” move that would “play into the hands of Zionism,” the King had said there was no room in Jordan for any military organization other than the Jordanian army “to represent the Palestinians.” The so-called Palestinians make up about half of Jordan’s total population. (The latest United Nations report gave the number of Arab refugees in Jordan as 637,493)

NEXT STORY