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State Dept. Rebukes Israel Fob Reprisal Paid on Jordan Village

October 19, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A special State Department statement reflecting condemnation by the United States of Israel for a reprisal raid by Israelis against Jordan was viewed today by government sources as the sharpest American rebuke to Israel since the founding of the state.

The State Department said it was convinced “that those who are responsible (for the raid) should be brought to account and that effective measures should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.” The complete text of the State Department’s expression follows:

“The U.S. Government has the deepest sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in and near Quibya during the recent attack by Israeli forces. The shocking reports which have reached the Department of State of the loss of lives and property involved in this incident convince us that those who are responsible should be brought to account and that effective measures should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

“The U.S. Government,” the State Department continued, “has been increasingly concerned at the mounting tension along the frontier between Israel and the neighboring Arab states. It is for this reason that it initiated the recommendation and subsequently, in concert with the British and French Governments, decided to request the U.N. Security Council to consider, at the earliest possible date, the situation on the frontiers, to include a direct report by General Vagn Bennike, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.”

A State Department spokesman made known that the statement was issued after a study of first-hand reports was considered adequate to determine the facts.


Diplomatic quarters here took note of the fact that the State Department statement expressed its “deepest sympathy” for Arabs who were killed by Israelis but made no similar expression on behalf of the many hundreds of Israelis killed in frontier raids by the Arabs. While the Department found the Israel raid reports “shocking,” it was observed that accounts of Arab attacks against Israelis, even American citizens murdered by Arab infiltrators, were never similarly described.

One view here was that a British Foreign Office statement last week reflecting denunciation of Israel for the raid was designed by British diplomats to win Arab favor. Consequently, it is thought today’s expression by the State Department is an American move in the same direction.

From Cairo it was reported today that Americas Ambassador Jefferson Caffery paid a special call on Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Fawzy in connection with current Israel-Arab tension. After talking with the Foreign Minister for 40 minutes, Mr. Caffery said they discussed “the Israeli aggression” against Jordan.

The United States Information Service in London today distributed a statement by Rep. William E. Hess of Ohio asserting that the American-Spanish pact for military bases in Spain is bound to increase Arab confidence in the good intentions of the United States.

Congressman Hess paid that “not to be lost sight of for one moment is the fact that the Spanish nation has for many years lived in complete accord and harmony with its Arab neighbors.” He said that the Arabs would be greatly impressed by U. S. friendship for Spain, “the traditional friend of the Arab.”

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