684A.85/9–950: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Jordan 1


44. Jordan Min called Sep 12 under urgent instrs his Govt furnish Dept copy of tel from Jordan FonMin to Security Council notifying latter of “Jewish aggression” in Jordan terr in Rutenberg area and requesting urgent steps be taken instr Israel withdraw to “line in Pal terr originally occupied by their forces”. Tel states Jordan terr was not and cld not have been subj of discussion during Rhodes armistice talks, and claims armistice agreement based solely on positions occupied by forces of opposing parties in Pal terr.

Dept gave Jordan Min substance Amman tels 57 and 58 Sep 9, Dept tels 106 to Tel Aviv and 42 to Amman Sep 10, and Jerusalem tel 77 Sep 11. Dept emphasized to Jordan Min its concern over matter and stated US wld keep close watch on situation. However, view fact that present trouble seemed to be traceable to Jordanian agreement during Rhodes discussions to armistice line which did not follow internatl frontier between Pal and Trans Jordan mandates and which in fact included small amt Trans Jordan terr in area under Israel control, Dept expressed opinion that best way to handle wld be for Jordan Govt to make use of provisions of Israel-Jordan armistice agreement applying to machinery for revision of armistice line, and to make immed request for such revision. Dept observed that Israel move seemed to be on very small scale and to be limited to police officials, not troops.

Jordan Min said that Col. Jundi in signing armistice line map apparently had not realized that line had been “wrongly” delineated and did not follow internatl frontier between the two mandates; however, basic principle remained that armistice talk concerned positions of forces in Pal terr and there cld not have been, nor cld there now be, any question of Jordan agreeing to presence of Israel forces on terr which had always been part of orig Trans Jordan mandate. Min agreed that best means of procedure wld be for Jordan to request revision of armistice line and said he wld urge this course upon his Govt. However, it was obvious that Jordan Govt was very exercised over matter and in no mood to take conciliatory attitude. Min thought that in interests furthering peace in NE and particularly in interests improving relations between Jordan and Israel, with special ref to forthcoming talks in Special Comite, Israel shld withdraw such personnel as might be in disputed terr pending thorough exam of question. Dept agreed this wld be wise move.

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Dept stated info it had recd did not confirm Jordan charges of Israel forgery of Map showing demarcation line. Dept also urged Jordan Min that matter be handled in calmest atmosphere possible,, and preferably by formal or informal means in Pal.

Jerusalem pls bring foregoing to attn Gen Riley.

  1. This telegram was repeated to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, London, and Paris.