191. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

4125. Ref: Deptel 208001.2

Hussein, as we reported twenty-four hours ago, is prepared to have open cease fire.
For past several hours Radio Amman has been announcing GOJ acceptance of cease fire. Israelis monitor these broadcasts and thus have no basis to assume GOJ still desires secret cease fire.
GOJ formally notified Security Council of its acceptance of cease fire early this morning through El-Farra.
Israeli suggestion that King deliberately following tactic of deception hardly supportable. Israeli military intelligence well aware Jordanian losses. IDF briefings to DATT Tel Aviv have covered losses in detail.3
There is possibility King and government not in communication with all JAA units. However, should Israelis be sincerely prepared for cease fire we assume that, particularly in Jerusalem area, way could be found to use receptive government radios to announce cease fire at set time.
I recognize IDF goal may well be total destruction of Jordanian army. I consider that JAA destruction, if achieved, would have disastrous effects on this regime and on area stability as whole. I am gravely concerned about resultant effects on public order and on safety large American community still in Kingdom.
For all these considerations I consider it imperative we spare no effort to arrange this cease fire. Jordanians willing follow any formula we may suggest to achieve this. I respectfully urge that President telephone PriMin Eshkol to bring cease fire into effect soonest.4
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Flash. Repeated to the White House and Tel Aviv. Received at 10:57 a.m. Passed to DOD, CIA, USIA, NSA, COMAC, and CINCSTRIKE, and USUN at 11:15 a.m.
  2. Reference is apparently to Document 187.
  3. A number of telegrams reporting such briefings are in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR.
  4. Howard Wriggins of the NSC staff sent copies of this telegram and telegram 4127 from Amman to Walt Rostow at 3:40 p.m., with a brief memorandum recommending that the President send an urgent message to Eshkol. Attached were a draft memorandum from Rostow to the President and a draft Presidential message to Eshkol. Rostow apparently did not forward the proposal or the telegram. (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. IV) Telegram 4127 from Amman, June 7, reported that Chief of Staff Khammash had advised the Embassy that Jordanian units in the Jerusalem area were cut off and subject to heavy bombardment, that the Jordanian army was trying to evacuate the West Bank, and that withdrawing columns were being strafed and bombarded. Khammash urged immediate Israeli compliance with the cease-fire and stated that the Jordanian military position was hopeless. The record copy is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR.