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El Fatah Seen Creating De Facto ‘buffer State’ in East Jordan

March 27, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Observers suggested here today that a defacto “buffer state” was being created along the East Bank of the Jordan by El Fatah terrorists who recognize neither the cease fire agreement between Israel and Jordan nor, apparently, the authority of King Hussein and his government.

That was the picture that emerged from the accounts of West Bank residents who returned from Jordan this morning. They told of a mass exodus of villagers from the border areas into the hinterland. They are being replaced rapidly by guerrilla units and saboteurs who have set up their own administration in many places. Jordanian Army units are still stationed on the main highways guarding the approaches to Amman and remain in a few places in the northern Jordan Valley But otherwise, they too have disappeared, leaving the terrain to the irregulars, the returning West Bankers said. Political circles here were said to be assessing the situation which might soon see an autonomous state arise between Israel and Jordan run by terrorists.

According to reports from Amman, King Hussein said today he would welcome official cooperation by his Government with the El Fatah commandoes but that he could not permit them to become “a state within a state.” The reports said that 150 Jordanian public officials and military leaders met with the King to press for open support of the terrorist group.

The Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram conceded today that El Fatah plans for future incursions against Israel were disrupted by last Thursday’s Israeli attack on their bases and by the capture of their operational plans.

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