785.00/1–752: Telegram

No. 383
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Israel1


495. Jan 14 Dept rep requested Israel Emb First Secy Hezlitz call discuss recent series incidents Jerusalem area on Jordan-Israel borders. Emb rep appeared uninformed these developments. Dept rep first summarized Qalqilya controversy and expressed satis this problem now adjusted. Noted with regret unneces fireworks in MAC which preceded settlement, however.

Dep rep gave gen acct incidents including brief ref Gaza described Amman Legtel 190 Jan 7, Jerusalem Contels 94 Jan 8 and 98 Jan 12.2 While not underestimating difficulties faced by Israel Govt in dealing with problems of infiltration, emphasized that mil excursions by Israel into Jordan or other neighboring states purpose shooting people or destroying property appeared to Dept as extremely [Page 878] grave violations Armistice Agreement which cld not be justified under any circumstances. Israel shld consider unfortunate adverse effect such occurrences cld have.

Suggest Emb Tel Aviv its discretion discuss matter with Israel Govt along these lines. Might also point out incidents strong contrast between Israel official utterances re its desire cooperate in reaching amicable settlement with Arabs and Israel actions toward Arabs in neighboring border areas. Repetition these incidents and continuation use brutal tactics in dealing with border Arabs cld result in sudden sharp deterioration Arab-Israel relations. Lack of progress in improvement these relations at present considered one of major stumbling-blocks to maintenance stability and security of area as well as obstacle to closer cooperation between the Arabs and West. Latter definitely in Israel’s interest as lack thereof contributes to difficulties of implementing any plans for cooperative defense arrangements in NE area. Dept hopes Israel govt will seriously consider issues involved and carefully weigh wisdom of permitting its armed forces employ terror tactics towards Arabs as opposed to making genuine effort all levels to conciliate Arab neighbors. Wld point out further that even though Israel may not have condemned certain Arabs convicted legally of espionage, official Israel policy involving mil forays into neighboring states and resulting in killings of Arabs and destruction their property will undoubtedly have its effect on Arab attitude toward Jewish minorities in such states as Iraq.

  1. Repeated to Jerusalem, Amman, Damascus, Paris (for the Delegation to the General Assembly), and Baghdad, and by pouch to Beirut, Cairo, Jidda, London, and Ankara.
  2. None printed.