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State Department Watches Anti-israel Demonstrations in Jordan

Reports from Jordan reaching here today said that Jordanian Arab Legion troops opened fire to disperse several thousand violently rioting Palestinian Arabs north and south of the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem, Rioters in Ramallah and Hebron shouted slogans against King Hussein and demanded arms to attack Israel.

Meanwhile, the State Department was known to have reacted negatively to a radio broadcast in Cairo by Ahmed Shukairy, head of the “Palestine Liberation Organization” which was considered inflammatory. Shukairy said the PLO supports the Al Assifa terrorist organization and will increase commando raids into Israel as part of a “liberation war.” He disclosed that his “Liberation Army” was now armed with tanks and anti-aircraft artillery as well as infantry weapons. The Department felt such agitation was dangerous because it tended to undermine the Hussein regime in Jordan and increase the danger of Arab-Israel war.

Despite continuing anti-Israel demonstrations in the western section of Jordan, it remains the appraisal of State Department officials here that King Hussein retains firm control over his country. The demonstrations at this point seem limited to the “west bank” region of Jordan, where there is a heavy concentration of former Palestinians. To control the demonstrations, the government has invoked strict security measures, including the movement of the army, with its Bedouin elements loyal to the King, into the western region.

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