- Jordan and Egypt issued stern warnings to Israel yesterday,
and demanded that Israel Defense Forces troops withdraw from Ramallah and
not harm Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. In consultations
held by Jordanian and Egyptian officials yesterday, the two countries considered
ordering Israel's ambassadors in Cairo and Amman to return to Jerusalem,
a diplomatic source said.
- The source stated that Jordan and Egypt are "considering
this possibility" of telling Israel's diplomats to leave their countries,
and that a decision on this matter depends upon developments in the territories.
The Egyptians and Jordanians would carry out such a step in unison, the
- But another diplomatic source speculated that should
affairs worsen in the territories, and should Jordan's public become increasingly
angry, the Hashemite kingdom might order Israel's ambassador to leave before
Egypt does the same. This source explained that the internal situation
in Jordan is more complicated than Egypt's domestic circumstances, partly
because Palestinians represent a majority of Jordan's population.
- Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said yesterday in
Cairo that Israel has apparently ignored the messages which he delivered
to it via Israeli ambassador Gideon Ben Ami.
- Israel's ambassador to Jordan, David Dadon, was called
yesterday to meet with Jordan's Foreign Minister, Marwan Muasher. According
to well-placed sources, Muasher made it clear that Jordan will not risk
its internal stability on behalf of Israel. Muasher warned that Arafat
is liable to be harmed, intentionally or not, by any Israeli soldier who
fires bullets around the Ramallah compound.
- Muasher announced he informed Dadon that "there
will be more steps taken [against Israel] should the Israeli government
not agree to an immediate withdrawal." The statement added that the
foreign minister expressed his government's "deep anger" about
Israel's recent "irresponsible" steps.
- Israeli officials yesterday characterized Muasher as
being "hysterical" during the meeting with Dadon. Jordan's foreign
minister, they added, declared that he doesn't trust Israel's promise that
it won't harm Arafat.