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Terrorist Presence in Jordan Cited As Reason for Increased Attacks in Israel and Administered Territ

The presence of terrorist organizations in Jordan, primarily that of Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat’s Fatah faction, was cited by Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin this week as one of the reasons for the increase in terrorist attacks in Israel and the administered territories.

At the same time, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir warned Jordan that the presence of the terrorist groups posed a threat to both Israel and Jordan as well. But, he added, in an apparent reference to earlier comments by Industry and Trade Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel was not preparing any imminent military action against Jordan or the terrorist bases there. Last week Sharon urged Israel to attack PLO bases in Jordan.

Shamir, in an interview with Voice of Israel radio during a tour of the southern Hebron region, repeated his support for new legislation to impose the death penalty on terrorist murderers, and said he also preferred a speedier process of deportation of alleged inciters than that currently practiced.

DISMISSES U.S. CRITICISM

He dismissed the United States condemnation this week of the Cabinet decision to crack down on terrorism in Israel and the West Bank. “We have grown accustomed to such condemnations, and I do not believe it should change our minds regarding the need to protect our security with all possible means,” he said.

Rabin also played down the importance of the American criticism. During a tour of the administered territories yesterday, Rabin said that Israel had no choice but to impose the harsh measures which include administrative detention. “We all respect the opinion of the U.S. government but we are responsible for security in this area. We will use whatever means are effective,” he said.

Thomas Pickering, the new United States Ambassador to Israel, referred to the Cabinet action at a news conference convened after he presented his credentials to President Chaim Herzog yesterday. Pickering repeated the State Department position which expressed regret over the new policy.

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