JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
British planes carrying troops to Jordan from Cyprus resumed their flights today over Israel territory following a meeting of the Israel Cabinet.
When the British airlift started over Israel territory this morning, the Israel Government protested the passage without her permission. When the airlift was resumed, Israeli circles did not deny that permission had been granted the British to carry paratroopers to Jordan.
Israeli sources denied a report from Jordan that earlier in the day Israeli fighter planes intercepted and turned back a number of British Royal Air Force troops transports seeking to traverse a corner of Israeli territory en route to Jordan. The Jordan report said that the landing of British airborne force was delayed six hours because of the Israeli action. However, Israeli sources here said the British planes were not forced to return to Cyprus by Israeli aircraft.
The Cabinet held a two-hour emergency meeting this morning but maintained a complete blackout on the discussions. A one-sentence communique said only that “foreign and security matters were discussed.”
It was believed that the discussions probably were stormy, particularly because of the British landings in Jordan. British Embassy sources, asked which way the parachutists from Cyprus were flown to Jordan, replied “by the shortest route.” Further comment was declined by Embassy sources.
Israel newspapers reported that leftwing parties had already notified Prime Minister David Ben Gurion that they were opposed even to “passive contributions,” which Israel might make to further Western troop deployments in the area.