Menu JTA Search

Israel Denies Jordan’s Security Council Charge That It Deliberately Attacked Civilians

A war of words between Jordan and Israel developed in the Security Council today as the 15-nation body held the fifth meeting of its current session stemming from Israel’s Aug. 4 reprisal air attack on El Fatah bases near the Jordanian town of Salt. Mohammad H. el-Farra, the representative of Jordan, accused Israel of using napalm and fragmentation bombs in the attack and also claimed that the israeli planes hit Red Crescent (Jordanian Red Cross) ambulances that were aiding the wounded, killing and wounding their occupants.

Israel’s representative Ambassador Yosef Tekoah hotly denied that the Israeli planes hit civilian targets. He cited eye-witness accounts of a group of British volunteer students working in the Jordan Valley who, according to the London Telegraph, watched the Israeli attack on the El Fatah headquarters and guerrilla training camp. He said that the planes were specifically ordered to avoid hitting civilian targets and that all the casualties in the raid were El Fatah members or military personnel.

Mr. Tekoah said that his Government had decided to release confidential information which demonstrated that the Jordanian Government and armed forces not only permitted terrorist acts against Israel from their territory but fully collaborated with them. He said that Jordanian military posts provided the marauders with information on Israeli troop deployment and provided covering fire for them when they encountered Israeli forces. He said Jordanian soldiers mounted roadblocks in collaboration with El Fatah and recognized El Fatah passes as entry permits for guerrillas coming from Syria.

The sum of the situation, Mr. Tekoah declared, is that the guerrilla organizations are maintained and supported by the Arab governments in an expression of unabated belligerence. He said that the cease-fire agreements of June, 1967 imposed an obligation on all parties to cease all military activities in the area. The Government which offers the use of its territory as a base for warfare is violating the cease-fire, he said, adding that international law and opinion leave no doubt that the cease-fire must be maintained on the basis of complete reciprocity.

Ambassador el-Farra, in reply, said there was no agreement between Jordan and Israel called a “cease-fire” and that Jordan was observing the Security Council’s resolution for a cease-fire. He insisted that the only international agreement binding on Israel and the Arab states was the armistice agreement following the 1948 war and the Mixed Armistice Commission established thereby. He charged Israel with ignoring and refuting that agreement. Mr. el-Farra went on to accuse Israel of violating or ignoring every resolution of the Security Council. He said that his Government did not maintain commando bases in Jordan nor any recruitment centers. He denied Mr. Tekoah’s charge that Iraqi troops stationed in Jordan were aiding the guerrillas. He insisted they were there only to bolster Jordan’s defenses and provided no arms or equipment to the commandos.

Mr. el-Farra demanded “adequate action” by the Security Council against Israel “without further delay” and said “we want all of the big powers to play their constructive part and to take a firm stand against the contemptuous attitude of Israel.”

(Two explosions yesterday did slight damage to the railroad line near Gaza. The damage was repaired during the night and trains were running on schedule today, a military spokesman reported.)

NEXT STORY