Jordanian Army Patrol Turns Back Red Cross Team on Mercy Mission from Israel

The hopes of Israel and the International Red Cross of providing relief for Jordanian war casualties were stymied today when a Jordanian Army patrol turned back an IRC delegation that had crossed the Allenby Bridge seeking wounded or hungry persons, Israeli sources said. The three-man delegation managed to visit only two villages, neither of them short of food or medical supplies. Israel is the only country from which such a relief operation can be mounted overland. If the operation eventually gets under way, it will be the first contact between Israel and Jordan since the outbreak of the Jordanian civil war. Israel offered Wednesday to hospitalize any Jordanian casualties, except males of combat age, who are brought to the bridge by the IRC or the Jordanian Red Crescent. Three medical teams, each composed of a surgeon, a physician and four nurses, have been set up by West Bank Arabs. They are awaiting approval from Jordanian authorities to aid casualties in Amman.

(At the United Nations today, Secretary General U Thant and General Assembly president Edvard I. Hambro issued a joint appeal to UN members and agencies and private organizations and individual to “provide the needed humanitarian aid” to those victimized by the fighting in Jordan. Declaring they were “profoundly distressed at the bloodshed and suffering that have afflicted Jordan in the present tragic situation.” Mr. Thant and Dr. Hambro called for “all possible assistance that may be needed to prevent further loss of lives and to alleviate the afflictions and anguish that have become the sudden lot of so many thousands of human beings.” it was understood that the phrase “all possible assistance” referred strictly to “humanitarian” efforts and did not indicate a request for military action.)

The leftist Mapam party reported today it has decided to open a campaign for funds to buy medicines for Jordanian civilians wounded in the civil war between King Hussein and the Palestinian guerrillas. The medicines will be given to the Red Mogen Dovid for transfer to Jordan through the International Red Cross. The plans for the fund-raising has evoked mixed reactions among Israelis, the critics asking why Mapam did not raise funds for Jewish settlers injured in guerrilla attacks on Beisan Valley and other settlements.

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