Jordanians Fail to Show Up to Arrange for West Bank Refugee Return

Israeli officials reported today that return of former residents of the west bank who fled to Jordan during the war, originally scheduled for last Sunday and postponed by Jordan until today, failed to take place because Jordanian representatives did not appear last night at Allenby Bridge to arrange with Israeli officials on the crossings.

Some 7,000 former residents of Judea and Samaria, who had their requests approved by Israel but were unable to return by Israel’s August 31 deadline, were to have crossed the Allenby Bridge over the Jordan River Sunday but at the last minute the Jordan authorities notified the Red Cross that the crossing would have to be postponed for five days. Officials of the Israeli Interior Ministry and an army liaison officer arrived at the bridge yesterday afternoon for a scheduled meeting to discuss the crossings today, as did International Red Cross delegate Ernest Schaltter, but no Jordanians showed up. Schaltter crossed over to Jordan to consult the Jordanian senior army officer, who had attended previous refugee crossing meetings but the officer told the Red Cross official that he had not been authorized to meet with the Israelis. Israeli officials said today that Israel would not initiate any further meetings with Jordan on the return of the west bank refugees.

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