Activists of Palestine Liberation Organization Arrested in Jordan

Israel continued today to watch developments in Jordan with a feeling that King Hussein seems to have entrenched himself there after a few days of unrest during which extremists held demonstrations demanding his resignation and open war against Israel.

The anti-government demonstrations in Jordanian towns along the Israeli border were firmly checked today by the military authorities especially in Nablus and Hebron. The curfew was eased in the Jordanian part of Jerusalem. The situation was peaceful on the Jordanian-Israeli frontier, but not so on the Syrian-Israeli border where the Syrians fired from their positions on cars moving along the road in the Huleh area. No casualties were reported.

Several hundred followers of Ahmed Shukairy, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization — who instigated the anti-government and anti-Israel demonstrations in Jordan from his residence in Egypt — were arrested today in Jordan following an order issued last night by the King of Jordan. They included a number of known terrorists, some of whom have boasted that they have succeeded in infiltrating into Israel and in returning back to Jordan.

Under King Hussein’s order, Jordanian security forces closed the quarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Old City of Jerusalem, in Hebron, in Nablus and in other centers. The offices were sealed and all documents confiscated. Armed guards were posted in front of the buildings. The roundup continued all day today.

Meanwhile, the Israel Foreign Ministry announced today that Israel had withdrawn its complaint lodged with the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission over the mining incident in the Hebron area of November 12 in which three Israeli soldiers were killed and six were wounded. The step was taken in protest against the “legalistic” attitude taken by the MAC chairman when dealing with such incidents.

In the case of an earlier incident involving the derailment of a train on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the MAC chairman had failed to fix the blame on Jordan because of a technical point. The Foreign Ministry said that Israel had withdrawn the complaint claiming that any MAC inquiry under the circumstances, would be “pointless.” The Ministry spokesman said that the Commission chairman had systematically refused to blame Jordan for such terrorist activities.

NEXT STORY