Israel Warns It Will Not Permit Iraqi Troops to Remain in Jordan
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Israel Warns It Will Not Permit Iraqi Troops to Remain in Jordan

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Foreign Minister Golda Meir announced today that Israel’s envoys to Washington, London, Paris and Moscow had been urgently summoned home for consultations which are expected to get under way Wednesday and will deal with the question of the threatened entrance of Iraqi troops into Jordan. Mrs. Meri reported on the situation to President Itzhak Ben Zvi this morning and then attended the Cabinet meeting which was devoted to study of the situation.

The Foreign Minister publicly confirmed this morning that the Israel Government was officially notified by the British Embassy on Friday that units of the Iraqi Army were about to enter Jordan and would be stationed there for an indefinite period. She declared in a statement that this Iraqi move “represents a direct threat to Israel’s territorial integrity and the Israel Government is determined to meet the test in fulfillment of its obligations to its people.

This afternoon, Mrs. Meri received Peter Westlake, British charge d’ affaires, for the second time within 48 hours. The Briton reportedly informed her of the number of Iraqi troops it was planned to dispatch into Jordan and sought to convince her that the move would be a limited operation giving Israel no grounds for apprehension.

(Dispatches received in London today from Cairo reported that Iraqi Army forces in division strength, had already entered Jordan or would do so soon. The commanders in chief of the Iraqi and Jordanian armies were reportedly meeting today in Amman to work out plans for the Iraqi occupation.)


Meanwhile, the Israel Cabinet reacted sharply to British pressure on this issue The official communique on the Cabinet meeting today stated that the Government had received with concern and amazement” the British Foreign Office threat to implement the British-Jordanian teary in the event that Israel resisted the entry of Iraqi troops into Israel–which would mean war on Israel.

The Cabinet heard reports from Premier Ben Gurion and Mrs. Meir and voted approval of Mrs. Meir’s statement rejecting settlement proposals advanced by Nuri es-Said Pasha of Iraq on the basis of the 1947 partition plan. The Cabinet also dealt with the question of freedom of passage of the Suez Canal and Red Sea and measures to safeguard the populace against border attacks.

Previously, Mrs. Meir had met with the American and French ambassadors here and is understood to have warned them of the grave consequences which might result from the entry of Iraqi troops into Jordan, pointing out it would jeopardize the armistice agreement itself. She was understood to have stressed Israel’s determined opposition to the presence of Iraqi troops on Jordan soil. In view of the tenseness of the situation, most embassies had their full staffs standing by over the week-end.

Minister of Health Israel Barzilia, addressing a conference of his Mapam Party a member of the Government coalition called yesterday for action by Israel to acquaint the United Nations Security Council with the nature of the grave threat to Isard inherent in any movement of Iraqi troops into Jordan.

The news of the impending Iraqi move is the chief topic of discussion in all circles here. It is recalled that Iraq had refused to negotiate an armistice agreement with Israel in 1948 and that the withdrawal of Iraq troops from Jordan was a condition of the Jordan-Israel armistice. A Foreign Office spokesman noted this week-end that “Iraq’s entry now would undermine the (armistice) agreement in far-reaching respects. It would mean that she is sending military forces again into the territory of a state adjacent to Israel and this after deliberately refusing to conclude an armistice agreement with Israel.”

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