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Jordanians Delay Return of Body of Israeli Airman Believed Slain, Mutilated

Jordanian authorities were accused by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan today of deliberately delaying the return of the body of an Israeli pilot shot down over Jordan territory last Tuesday so that it would be too late for an autopsy to reveal evidence of mutilation. The pilot was downed when Israeli jets were sent into action against a concentration of Jordanian tanks that were laying down a barrage on Israeli positions on the West Bank. Jordanian authorities said the pilot was found dead but reports here indicate that he came down alive and was attacked, murdered and mutilated by Jordanian civilians before army regulars could reach him.

(In London on Sunday, Israel Army Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin disclosed that the pilot had been murdered but said it was not always in Israel’s interests to publicize Arab atrocities.)

Gen. Dayan made his accusation when informed by International Red Cross Representative Loren Marty that the Jordanians had laid down conditions for return of the body.