The khamsin is a baleful wind that flares out of the deserts, drying out the land and the people until the flesh fairly crackles. Under Ottoman Empire law, murder was held more pardonable if committed while the khamsin was blowing. Last week, as Jerusalem suffered under the worst khamsin since 1893, tempers and guns blazed along Israel's borders. In the thick of it were U.N. observers, who, without arms, are instructed to keep the peace.

Early in the week Jordanian soldiers, roused by Israeli claims to parts of Mt. Scopus, a hill commanding Jerusalem, occupied a house in the disputed...

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