684A.85/1–3152: Telegram

No. 395
The Secretary of State to the Legation in Jordan1


216. Jordan Min Haikal called NEA Jan 29 under instrs discuss urgently recent incidents Jordan–Israel border. Reported grave concern his Govt over aggressive and deliberate nature coordinated attacks on Jordan terr and shooting Jordan citizens. Said principal danger lay in aroused public opinion in Jordan which presently criticizing Jordan Govt for lack of action retaliate this infringement Jordan sovereignty and murder its citizens. Stressed wider effect of adverse public reaction in Iraq and other neighboring states cld only further delay improvement Israel Arab relations. [Page 890] Dept rep informed Min of action taken Deptel 495 Jan 15 to Tel Aviv and Deptel 649 Jan 22 to Beirut2 and reported representation by Amb Tel Aviv to Israel FonMin on this subj. Emphasized Dept’s continuing concern and thanked Jordan Min for clear presentation.

Emb Tel Aviv auth as appropriate occasion arises inform FonOff of wider repercussions these incidents and of Dept’s belief that recent Israel invasion Jordan terr and subsequent shootings and bombings unwarranted method dealing with infiltration. While such action may reduce infiltration temporarily, it bound have far wider repercussions both here and in Arab states. Continued actions this sort will increase pressure Jordan Govt do something retaliate and will further postpone final settlement outstanding issues between Israel and Arab states. While Dept gratified modus vivendi now apparently worked out in MAC (Jerusalem Contel 102 Jan 28), wld urge Israel Govt give procedure extended fair trial and not resume forceful tactics under circumstances implied by Ramati remarks Contel 102.

Leg Amman auth inform Jordan Govt steps taken by Dept to date and that this matter of continuing concern US. Might also inform that Haikal impressed Dept with his presentation this dangerous sitn.

  1. Repeated to Tel Aviv, Damascus, Beirut, and Jerusalem; sent by pouch to Baghdad, Jidda, and Cairo.
  2. In telegram 649 to Beirut, Jan. 22, 4:21 p.m., the Department authorized the Legation at its discretion to inform General Riley that the Department hoped he would agree to submit a detailed Truce Supervision Organization report to the United Nations on recent incidents before the Jordan–Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, especially on shootings along the Jordan–Israel border. (684A.85/1–2252)

    The Legation reported that it had shown telegram 649 to Riley on Jan. 25. (Telegram 721 from Beirut, Jan. 25, 7:09 a.m.; 684A.85/1–2552)