248. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Jordan/Hijacking Situation


King Hussein appointed a new military government early this morning as planned. The fedayeen have not reacted yet. Amman is still quiet this morning.

Hussein charged the Prime Minister in the new military cabinet— Brigadier General Muhammad Daud—to insure security, restore order and impose the state’s authority and protection. He called for the cooperation of all.

The central committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization is meeting in emergency session to decide its next step. Arafat is reported to have ordered the immediate unification of all Palestinian forces. He also reportedly sent a message to all Arab heads of state appealing to them to intervene immediately to end the bloodshed in Jordan. As a result of yesterday’s fighting in two cities north of Amman and reports of impending action against them, fedayeen units throughout Jordan are on full combat alert.

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The German representative under urgent instructions convoked a midnight meeting of the Bern Group to ask that the Red Cross team in Amman be strengthened and that a “new, clear mandate” be drawn up by mid-day today with the participation of all governments concerned. If this was not done, the Germans would seek release of their hostages bilaterally.

The first German requirement was met by Red Cross announcement that two senior officers were being sent to Amman. The second was a clear effort to press the Israelis to make a further contribution to the bargaining.

One way Israel might engage now is to pick up yesterday’s PFLP demands and expand an earlier offer to release two Algerians to include a few other specific individuals they hold. State’s thinking is moving in this direction.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 331, Subject Files, Hijackings. Secret. Printed from an uninitialed copy.