JERUSALEM (Aug. 22)
Israel warned Jordan today that, under no circumstances, will Israel agree to extension of the August 31 deadline for the return of Arab refugees from the east bank of the Jordan River to the Israeli-held west bank. The August 31 deadline had been previously agreed upon between Israel and Jordan.
Israel’s stand on this issue was made known to Jordan at a meeting today of representatives of the two countries on the Allenby bridge across the river. Israel charged that, if no more refugees cross over by August 31, the fault will be that of the Jordanian Government.
Jordan’s authorities, Israel pointed out, still have 6,000 valid crossing permits which have not been used, and noted that 3,000 more permits have been forwarded to Jordan via Red Cross officials. So far, less than 5,000 refugees have crossed from the east side of the river to the west bank, during the five days the return operation has been in effect.
Israel also refused to permit the returnees to bring with them the three-month supply of food given them by the Jordanians, insisting she is capable of feeding the returnees with the help of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Israel reiterated its attitude about no extension of the August 31 deadline, asserting that subject cannot even serve as a subject for discussion.