53. Telegram 4495 From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State 1 2

Subj Hijacking

Ref State 147006

In my judgment Embassy should not rpt not recommend to King Hussein that he issue at this time warning to PFLP along lines suggested reftel.
Position on the ground is quite clear. A relatively few PFLP fedayeen are holding the airplanes, and JAA has established perimeter around the area. PFLP men are now quite exposed, in desert, contrary to situation in Amman where JAA is reluctant to fire because of danger to population.
If PFLP destroys planes and kills hostages, I think JAA will act without urging USG. DATT shares this view.
If we urge King Hussein to threaten PFLP at this point, it might prompt PFLP to do something out of desperation. Recommend therefore that we not rpt not press King Hussein on this.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AV 12. Secret; Flash; Nodis.
  2. The Charge in Amman recommended against asking Jordanian King Hussein to issue a warning to the PFLP at this time.