‘guardian’ Reports Rift in Ranks of Arab Guerrillas Based in Jordan

A rift was reported today in the ranks of Arab guerrillas based in Jordan. The differences are mainly psychological according to the Guardian’s correspondent, David Hurst, who contrasted the “professionalism” of Jordanian Army officers enlisted in the so called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the “romanticism” of El Fatah members who “grossly exaggerate their exploits and are vulnerable to political manipulation.”

Writing from Beirut, Mr. Hurst said “some of Jordan’s best Army officers, victims of countless purges, are playing an increasingly important role in the Palestine guerrilla movement and may eventually give it the professional fibre it lacks in large measure.” But, Mr. Hurst went on, “the guerrilla movement is fraught with internal conflicts. There is a fundamental antagonism between those who insist on adhering to authentic guerrilla action and those who are willing to stray from it by armed struggle. The officers stand for orthodoxy and are strongest in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Front is hard-headed and canny whereas El Fatah is apt to be naive and romantic. Vulnerability to Israeli attacks may tempt El Fatah to acquire anti-aircraft guns of its own and the ex-army officers of the Popular Front consider this an abberation,” Mr. Hurst wrote. He said “politicians are also partly responsible for the most insidious threat of all – the corrupting effect of propaganda. The guerrillas often grossly exaggerate their exploits…One of their leaders said he was anxious to curb this bad habit because it could eventually deflate Palestinian morale.”

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