Eban Denies Arab Allegations That Assault Planned on Jordan Terrorist Bases

Foreign Minister Abba Eban reportedly told United Nations peace envoy Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring today that reports mushrooming in Arab capitals that Israel was about to launch a major military assault against Jordan were “malicious fabrications.” Press and radio reports from Cairo, Baghdad, Amman and other Arab capitals claimed that Israel planned to take advantage of the Big Power preoccupation with the Czech crisis to launch an all-out attack aimed at destroying, once and for all, the Arab terrorist bases In Jordan and probably occupy the East Bank of the Jordan River. Baghdad radio hinted that Israeli forces planned an attack on Egypt in retaliation for yesterday’s commando raid into Sinai. Mr. Eban is reported to have told Dr. Jarring that he did not know why the Arabs were sounding alarms. He said that while Dr. Jarring was not concerned with incidents and rumors, his mission nonetheless could be influenced by the atmosphere in the area; this was being heated up by the Arabs and decreases Dr. Jarring’s chances of success, Mr. Eban was reported to have said. The UN envoy returned to his headquarters at Nicosia, Cyprus today. He was scheduled to visit Cairo and Amman before the end of the week.

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