LONDON (Sep. 28)
The prospect of renewed guerrilla activity against Israel emerged today following a pact signed by King Hussein of Jordan and El Fatah leader Yassir Arafat in Cairo yesterday which represents substantial gains for the Palestinians. The pact that is supposed to formally end the civil war which broke out in Jordan on Sept. 17 was endorsed by representatives of Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan and Lebanon who added their signatures to those of Hussein and Arafat on the 14-point document. It assures the guerrillas of the support of the Arab world until “full liberation and victory over the aggressive Israeli enemy” is achieved. It also further limits King Hussein’s authority in his own kingdom by providing for a three-man supervisory committee to maintain order in the country and oversee military and civilian affairs until a “normal situation” is restored. The committee will be headed by Premier Bahi Ladgham of Tunisia and will include one Jordanian and one Palestinian. The key point immediately affecting Israel’s security provides for the withdrawal of guerrillas from Amman “and their deployment in positions suited to raiding action against Israel.” The pact insures “the continuation of the Palestinian resistance and respect for the sovereignty of Jordan, with the exception of the needs of resistance activity.” The exception appeared to offer the guerrillas considerable freedom of action. In addition, the pact restores the status quo ante of Sept. 17 in northern Jordan, thereby returning to the guerrillas their strongholds in Irbid and other towns captured by Hussein’s forces in the civil war.
Israel’s borders have been free of guerrilla attacks since the fighting began in Jordan 11 days ago. The guerrillas apparently committed all of their manpower to the battle against King Hussein. (Reports from Tel Aviv today said that Israeli circles expect a “demonstrative action” by Palestinian guerrillas in the next few days prove that they can still function after the heavy losses they suffered at the hands of the Jordanian troops. They will be trying to impress the Arab world and particularly the West Bank residents, the Israelis said. Israel has already warned Jordan that it would be held responsible for any resumption of attacks on Israeli settlements and would take retaliatory action against Jordanian forces as well as against the guerrillas.) (Reports from Israel today said large formations of Lebanese troops were seen in the border area, apparently in expectation of renewed guerrilla activity against Israel. The Lebanese are believed to be deploying to prevent the guerrillas from attacking from Lebanese soil in order to avert Israeli retaliation. Reports from Amman today said shooting continued in the capital despite the Hussein-Arafat pact.) Iraq Morocco and Algeria, which sided with the Palestinians against Hussein in the civil war and Syria, boycotted the Cairo meeting and rejected the Hussein-Arafat pact. Those countries have supported guerrilla demands that King Hussein abdicate. The representative of Yemen, who went to Cairo, left before the agreement was signed.