JERUSALEM (Nov. 4)
King Hussein’s loyal Bedouin Army put down Syrian-backed Arab commandos angered by his “soft stand” on Israel yesterday in some four hours of fighting in Amman, the capital. The Jordanian Interior Minister went on the state radio to denounce commandos who fired on Government forces as “criminals, traitors and bought individuals.” He suggested that the guerrillas concentrate their energies against Israelis occupying the West Bank.
The Minister said anti-state elements, who he identified as the Al Nasr (Victory) organization, had infiltrated Palestinian terrorist organizations and defied Jordanian authorities, and charged them with seeking to establish a reign of terror. Earlier King Hussein went on the radio and while not openly criticizing the terrorists said that the Government had decided to halt their “treacherous activities designed to split the nation.” He said that without public order there can be no war and no victory over Israel.
According to Beirut radio, heard here, the Jordanian Government served notice that it will not let its policies be dictated by terrorists, who completely oppose a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan and want the Jewish State exterminated.
Amman was under curfew today. Disturbances broke out last Saturday in Amman on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which promised Jews a National Home in Palestine. Crowds of Palestinians tried to storm the American Embassy and were stopped by the Arab Legion, King Hussein’s Army.
King Hussein’s forces were under machine-gun and cannon fire. He moved tanks into Amman along with armored personnel carriers and infantry and quickly gained the upper hand. His troops were sent into areas where large numbers of Arab refugees demanded action against Israel. Hussein did not concede that the guerrillas were trying to overthrow his crown. Israeli observers believe that the guerrillas were angry because Hussein tried to bring them under control in order to forestall possible Israeli retaliation which could do further damage to his already politically and economically weak kingdom.