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


  • Jordan Situation Report

A new cease-fire agreement was announced Sunday night in Cairo.2 While it appears from the ambiguous language that Hussein may have made some concessions to Arafat, the test will be in the implementation.

Meanwhile, arrangements for the initial phase of the relief effort were completed Sunday, and planes were scheduled to begin arriving in Amman at daybreak today.

Cease-Fire Agreement

The Agreement to end the fighting in Jordan emerged from a meeting of Arab leaders attended by Hussein and Arafat. [less than 1 line not declassified] Arafat passed the order to Fedayeen forces to cease all military operations as of 1925 GMT.

The test of the agreement seems to represent some concessions to Arafat’s demands, but the Jordanians seem pleased. The terms include withdrawal of both army and Fedayeen forces from Amman, release of detainees, return of military and civilian conditions in other towns to what they were before the crisis, restoration of security responsibility to the police and an end to the military government. A follow-up committee headed by the Tunisian Premier3 with one government and one Fedayeen representative has been appointed.

Ambassador Brown in Amman reports his assumption that both Hussein and Arafat were under heavy pressure in Cairo to accept a cease-fire. He expresses reservations about the staying power of any agreement reached under this kind of duress.4

Hussein remains under heavy pressure from his own army to eradicate the last major elements of the guerrillas, and the Jordanian [Page 920] Government is having difficulty holding back the army from continuing its attacks. The cease-fire held generally through Sunday in Amman, but Israeli sources reported fighting in the northern towns of Jerash, Ajlun and Ramtha. Irbid remained quiet with the Fedayeen controlling the city and the army surrounding.

Relief Effort

Four C–130s with food supplies and the first mobile hospital unit will arrive in Amman beginning at daybreak Monday. The second hospital will follow Tuesday.


The 32 hostages released Saturday were flown to Cyprus Sunday.5 The remaining six are reported to be in the UAR Embassy in Amman.6 The UK informed the UAR Government that it is prepared to release the girl hijacker if the remaining hostages are turned over safely.7

U.S. Forces

The one 250-man infantry company in Germany that has been on alert since the beginning of the Jordan crisis was taken off alert Saturday as part of the general relaxation of alert status and then was returned to nine-hour alert for contingency use for protection of the hospital units.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 615, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, Vol. V. Top Secret; Sensitive. Printed from an unsigned copy.
  2. September 27; see footnote 2, Document 303.
  3. Bahi Ladgham was the Tunisian Prime Minister.
  4. In telegram 5334 from Amman, September 28, 1525Z. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 JORDAN)
  5. As reported in telegram 1703 from Nicosia, September 27, 1050Z. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 619, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan Crisis) A debriefing of 2 hostages from the group of 32, which provides eyewitness accounts of the hostages’ ordeal, is in telegram 1710 from Nicosia, September 27, 2120Z. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, PS 7–6 JORDAN)
  6. As reported in telegram 5292 from Amman, September 27, 1740Z. (Ibid., PS 7–6 JORDAN) According to telegram 159271 to Naples, September 28, 1557Z, the six hostages were apparently not at the UAR Embassy as of 11 a.m. EDT, but at an unknown location. (Ibid., POL 23–9 JORDAN)
  7. As reported in telegram 159169 to Amman, September 27, 2149Z, the British agreed to release Leila Khaled. (Ibid.)