JERUSALEM (Nov. 24)
King Hussein of Jordan, plans to call for a new Arab summit meeting “to exchange views about the subject of a Palestinian state,” according to an interview published in the Beirut newspaper An Nahar yesterday. Political sources in Beirut said he was likely to raise the subject with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt when he visits Cairo this week. The new Syrian Premier, Gen. Hafez Assad, is expected to be in Cairo at the same time. Israeli observers believe that King Hussein now has the Palestinian guerrillas in Jordan firmly under control. They noted that the guerrillas have come “hat-in-hand” to meet with Jordan’s new Premier, Wasfi el Tal, a man they have in the past accused of being behind the “massacre” of the Palestinian commandos. El Fatah leader Yassir Arafat has also turned up in Amman after vowing he would not go there as long as el Tal heads the government. A meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization that was to have been held in Amman on Nov. 20 never took place, an indication, Israelis say, that Arafat was not able to force a merger of all the guerrilla organizations under his leadership.
The new, contrite attitude of the guerrillas indicates that they are in a desperate position and must negotiate terms with the Jordanian government quickly to prevent further deterioration, Israeli sources said. The various guerrilla bands have suffered from desertions and huge losses of arms and ammunition. They could not survive a further decline either militarily or in terms of morale. They are prepared to admit therefore that they were at least partly responsible for last week’s bloody clashes with Jordanian regulars in the Jerash-Irbid area. Guerrilla publications recently have been emphasizing restraint and self-discipline, Israelis noted. King Hussein is also reportedly anxious for a period of tranquility to rehabilitate his regime which was badly shaken in the September civil war. He is seeking to revive the $63 million annual subvention Jordan was receiving from oil rich Kuwait and Libya until it was cut off on the outbreak of the civil war.