TEL AVIV (Jul. 20)
Palestinian terrorists fleeing the Jordanian Army continued to surrender today to Israeli forces and are telling stories of atrocities by king Hussein’s troops. Jordanian Army jeeps equipped with loudspeakers were driving along the East bank of the Jordan River today urging the fedayeen not to surrender to the Israelis, promising that “We shall not harm you.” Baghdad radio reported today that Iraq has officially demanded the expulsion of Jordan from the Arab League and urged the League Council in Cairo to hold an urgent session to consider collective measures against Jordan to “stop its atrocious liquidation of the Palestinian guerrilla movement.” (In New York today, Israel’s UN Ambassador Yosef Tekoah complained to secretary General U Thant that the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories “continues to serve as a tool of Arab propaganda.” While the members of the committee–Somalia, Ceylon and Yugoslavia, all of which “refuse” to have diplomatic relations with Israel–resume their investigations, Tekoah said, Arab terrorists are seeking haven in Israel to escape “certain death” at the hands of their brethren in Jordan. Tekoah noted that Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban asserted in the Knesset yesterday that the charges of Israeli brutality in the occupied areas were “baseless.”)
Palestinian guerrillas crossing the Jordan with their hands in the air alleged that Jordanian troops were gunning down unarmed men, women and children. A group of the voluntary captives answered questions by local and foreign newsmen last night. They said they surrendered to Israel because they found out that stories of “Israeli atrocities” were untrue and because “the Israelis treated us more humanely than our brethren.” Suleiman Yunis, 17, said he would “never forget the Israel soldier who gave me water from his bottle.” The guerrillas are mainly members of El Fatah and a few who claim membership in the Syrian-backed A1 Saiqa commando group. One of them, from Homs, Syria, was asked why he didn’t return to his country. He replied, “Nobody wants us anymore. We decided it’s best to go to Israel.” The captives admitted membership in El Fatah but insisted that they joined only to “fight the Jordanians” and swore that they never took part in any action against Israel. Mahmoud Mouhammed Moussa, 21, commander of a small El Fatah unit, said El Fatah was a “wrecked” organization that had no future.