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Travellers from Jordan Report Demonstrations Urging Retaliation Against Israel

August 9, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

East Jerusalemites returning from Amman today reported street demonstrations by angry Jordanians demanding retaliation for Israel’s air attack on terrorist bases near Salt last Sunday and denouncing the Jordanian Air Force and Army for failing to protect the country. The travellers said that thousands of people roamed the streets shouting slogans against the Army and against Saudi Arabia and Iraq who have troops in Jordan but have never intervened against Israeli attacks. One visitor said there was an atmosphere of near revolution in the Jordanian capital but that there was nobody around to lead a revolt against the Hashemite regime. Jordanian police did not inter-fore with the demonstrators.

Jordanian units opened fire with small arms on Israeli forces near Gesher in the northern Beisan Valley today. Israelis returned the fire in an exchange that lasted nearly an hour. There were no Israeli casualties, a military spokesman said.

Residents of the West Bank returning from Jordan reported that one of the casualties in Sunday’s air raid on the El Fatah bases was Maj. Mahmoud Hamdan, acting commander of the bases. Maj. Hamdan was a former officer in the Jordanian Army who joined El Fatah about a year ago and was in charge of training recruits near Damascus. Later he commanded El Fatah units in the Eilat area and was in charge of recent sabotage forays. Maj. Hamdan’s connections with Jordanian officers helped him get equipment and ammunition and won the cooperation of Jordanian Army units along the border. Maj. Hamdan was deputizing for the regular Fatah base commander in the Salt area when he was reportedly killed.

Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan told West Bank Arab leaders today that Israel would pay compensation to the owners of buildings demolished as terrorists hideouts and bases if it turned out that the owners themselves were not members of terrorist organizations. But, Gen. Dayan said, Israel will not change its policy of destroying any building used by terrorists. His promise was reportedly made at a meeting with West Bank notables in Ramallah. The meeting was attended by Brig. Gen. Rafael Vardi, military governor of the West Bank.

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