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Israel Accuses Jordan of Aggravating Middle East Situation by Use of Rockets

Israel accused Jordan today of a “most serious aggravation of the Middle East situation” by the introduction of rockets in attacks on Israeli settlements and other locations. It informed the Security Council that the Jordan Government “must bear full responsibility” for the attacks. In a letter sent by Ambassador Yosef Tekoah to the December Security Council president, Endalkachew Makonnen of Ethiopia, Israel reported continued Jordanian attacks Monday night and this morning, accusing Jordan of opening a “concerted artillery barrage” against villages in the Jordan and Beisan Valleys. The letter said that Israel returned the fire in self-defense and as the Jordanian attack continued and grew in intensity it became necessary to employ aircraft to silence Jordanian guns. Mr. Tekoah charged that “Iraqi forces stationed in Jordan violated the cease-fire by launching an assault on Israeli villages from 122-millimeter guns.” No Security Council meeting was asked, but Israel requested that its letter be circulated as a Council document.

Jordanian Ambassador Muhammad H. el-Farra also complained to the Council today that Israelis had opened fire from “Syrian heights” early this morning shelling several Jordanian villages. He said the shelling spread to cover the whole northern part of the Jordan Valley. His letter said the city of Irbid was heavily shelled and the village of Kfar Assad was bombed for more than half an hour “by waves of Israeli military aircraft.” The letter asserted that 15 civilians were killed and 17 others seriously wounded in the village and 40 houses were destroyed. Mr. el-Farra asserted that Israel’s continued use of “naked force and aggression” made it necessary that the Security Council “should take adequate steps to put an end to these acts of lawlessness.” He did not however ask for a Council meeting.

Mr. Tekoah submitted a first letter late Monday night to Mr. Makonnen declaring that acts of aggression from Jordan had continued unabated in recent weeks and had increased since King Hussein signed a pact with Palestinian commandos Nov. 16. He said the pact defined the sphere in which the terrorists were free to operate and the kind of support Amman would give them. “By granting official sponsorship and protection to these organizations, the Jordan Government has assumed direct responsibility for all acts of terror directed and carried out from bases in its territory.” Mr. Tekoah said. He defended an Israeli commando penetration 37 miles into Jordan on Sunday which resulted in two bridges blown up. “The action was taken in pursuance of Israel’s right of self-defense, in an attempt to ward off the persistent acts of aggression and to impress upon the Jordanian authorities the dangers inherent is violations of the cease-fire by regular or irregular forces,” he declared.

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