Rule of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan

Rule of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan

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The West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 were occupied by Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 (formerly Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

)
for a period of nearly two decades (1948–1967) starting from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. In 1950, the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 extended formal recognition to the union between the Hashemite Kingdom and of that part of Palestine under Jordanian occupation and control - with the exception of Jerusalem. The British government stated that they regarded the provisions of the Anglo-Jordan Treaty of Alliance of 1948 as applicable to all the territory included in the union. Despite Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 opposition, the inhabitants of the West Bank became citizens of Jordan.

1948 Arab-Israeli war


On 14 May 1948 Israel declared the establishment of the State of Israel based on the UN Partition Plan. The Jordanian Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

 under the leadership of Sir John Bagot Glubb, known as Glubb Pasha was given orders to enter Palestine, secure the UN designated Arab area, and then enter the Jerusalem corpus separatum as defined by the UN Partition Plan. See 1948 Arab-Israeli War Third phase: May 15, 1948 - June 11, 1948.
"A key feature of the Arabs' plans was the complete marginalization of the Palestinians. … This aptly reflected the political reality: The military defeats of April–May had rendered them insignificant. The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 through the first half of 1948 had consistently rejected Husseini's appeals to establish a government-in-exile. … Under strong pressure from Egypt, which feared complete Hashemite control over the Palestinians, the League Political Committee
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 in mid-September authorized the establishment of a Palestinian 'government.'" (Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris is professor of History in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Be'er Sheva, Israel...

, Righteous Victims)


On September 22, 1948, the All-Palestine Government
All-Palestine Government
The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Shortly thereafter, an Arab-Palestinian Congress named King Abdullah I of Transjordan, "King of Arab Palestine"...

 was established in Gaza captured by Egypt, and on September 30, the rival First Palestinian Congress, which promptly denounced the Gaza "government", was convened in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. The December 1948 Jericho Conference
Jericho Conference
The Jericho Conference was held in December 1948 to decide the future of the portion of Palestine that was held by Jordan at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, led by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ja'abari...

, a meeting of prominent Palestinian leaders and King Abdullah, voted in favor of annexation into what was then Transjordan.

By the end of the war, Jordanian forces had control over the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

. On April 3, 1949, Israel and Jordan signed an Armistice Agreement
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

. The main points included:
  • Jordanian forces remained in most positions they held in the West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

    , including East Jerusalem
    East Jerusalem
    East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

     and the Old City.

  • Jordan withdrew its forces from its front posts overlooking the Plain of Sharon. In return, Israel agreed to allow Jordanian forces to take over positions in the West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

     previously held by Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    i forces.

  • A Special Committee was to be formed to make arrangements for safe movement of traffic between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus
    Mount Scopus
    Mount Scopus , جبل المشهد , جبل الصوانة) is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem. In the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Mount Scopus became a UN protected Jewish exclave within Jordanian-occupied territory until the Six-Day War in 1967...

     campus of Hebrew University, along the Latrun
    Latrun
    Latrun is a strategic hilltop in the Ayalon Valley in Israel overlooking the road to Jerusalem. It is located 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem and 14 kilometers southeast of Ramla.-Etymology:...

    -Jerusalem Highway, free access to the Holy Places
    Holy places
    Holy places, generally refers to the sites that a religion considers to be of special religious significance. They are usually places visited by pilgrims.-Baha'i:...

    , and other matters. The committee was never formed, and access to the Holy Places was denied to Israelis throughout the Jordanian occupation.

The remainder of the area that had been designated as Arab under the partition plan was partly occupied by Egypt (the Gaza Strip), partly occupied and annexed by Israel (West Negev, West Galilee, Jaffa). The intended international enclave of Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, both eventually annexing their portions.

The Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of East Jerusalem. All but one of the 35 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed over the course of the next 19 years, either razed or used as stables and hen-houses. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were replaced by modern structures. The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

 was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction, paving roads and lining latrines; the highway to the Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the site.

Annexation


In March 1948 the British Cabinet had agreed that the civil and military authorities in Palestine should make no effort to oppose the setting up of a Jewish State or a move into Palestine from Transjordan.

The United States, together with the United Kingdom favored the annexation by Transjordan of Arab Palestine. The UK preferred to permit King Abdullah to annex the territory at the earliest date, while the United States preferred to wait until after the conclusion of the Palestine Conciliation Commission brokered negotiations.

Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem on April 24, 1950, giving all residents automatic Jordanian citizenship. West Bank residents had already received the right to claim Jordanian citizenship in December 1949.

Jordan’s annexation was widely regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 and others, including Israel. Elihu Lauterpacht
Elihu Lauterpacht
Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE QC is a British academic and lawyer, specializing in the international law, a founder of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the Law Faculty of Cambridge University.-Biography:...

 held that Jordan’s occupation of the area west of the Jordan "entirely lacked legal justification". The move formed part of Jordan’s "Greater Syria Plan" expansionist policy, and in response, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria joined Egypt in demanding Jordan’s expulsion from the Arab League. A motion to expel Jordan from the League was prevented by the dissenting votes of Yemen and Iraq. On June 12, 1950, the Arab League declared the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan was holding the territory as a “trustee” pending a future settlement. On July 27, 1953, King Hussein of Jordan announced that East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 was "the alternative capital of the Hashemite Kingdom" and would form an "integral and inseparable part" of Jordan. In an address to parliament in Jerusalem in 1960, Hussein called the city the "second capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan".

Only the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 formally recognized the annexation of the West Bank, de facto in the case of East Jerusalem. The United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 also recognized this extension of Jordanian sovereignty. Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 is often claimed to have recognized Jordan's annexation too, but this is dubious.

Border Wars


Tensions continued between Jordan and Israel through the early fifties, with Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli commandos crossing the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

 despite the Jordanian army's efforts to prevent both occurrences. In retaliation for an attack by Palestinian infiltrators' killing of three Israeli civilians, 50 Palestinians died in an Israeli commando unit operation in the West Bank.

Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

, who had become Emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 of Transjordan in 1921 and King in 1923, was assassinated in 1951 during a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 on the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 by a Palestinian gunman following rumours that he was discussing a peace treaty with Israel. The trial found that this assassination had been planned by Colonel Abdullah Tell, ex-military governor of Jerusalem, and Dr. Musa Abdullah Husseini. He was succeeded by his grandson King Hussein of Jordan
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 once he came of age in 1953, after his father Talal's brief reign.

Six Day War



Despite Israeli pleas that Jordan remain neutral, on the war's second day Jordanian forces attacked Israeli-held West Jerusalem. The Israel Defense Force completely pushed the Jordanian, and Iraqi armies out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank and East Jerusalem with its one million Palestinian population came under Israeli military occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

. About 300,000 Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

Rapprochement and peace



On July 31, 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank — with the exception of guardianship over the Muslim Holy Sites of Jerusalem — to the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, as "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

The 1993 Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 between the PLO and Israel "opened the road for Jordan to proceed on its own negotiating track with Israel." The Washington Declaration was initialed one day after the Oslo Accords were signed. "On July 25, 1994, King Hussein met with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin in the Rose Garden of the White House, where they signed the Washington Declaration, formally ending the 46-year state of war between Jordan and Israel." Finally, on October 26, 1994, Jordan signed the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

 normalizing relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes between them.

Jordanian occupation


Unlike any other Arab country to which they fled after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, Palestinian refugees who found themselves in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 (and on the East Bank) were given Jordanian citizenship on the same basis as existing residents. However, many of the refugees continued to live in camps and relied on UNRWA assistance for sustenance. Palestinian refugees constituted more than a third of the kingdom's population of 1.5 million.

In the Jordanian parliament, the West and East Banks received 30 seats each, having roughly equal populations. The first elections were held on 11 April 1950. Although the West Bank had not yet been annexed, its residents were permitted to vote. The last Jordanian elections in which West Bank residents would vote were those of April 1967, but their parliamentary representatives would continue in office until 1988, when West Bank seats were finally abolished.

Agriculture remained the primary activity of the territory. The West Bank, despite its smaller area, contained half of Jordan's agricultural land. In 1966, 43% of the labor force of 55,000 worked in agriculture, and 2,300 km² were under cultivation. (Numbers that have fallen considerably since.) In 1965, 15,000 workers were employed in industry, producing 7% of the GNP. This number fell after the 1967 war, and would not be surpassed until 1983. The tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 industry also played an important role. 26 branches of 8 Arab banks were present. The Jordanian dinar
Jordanian dinar
The dinar is the currency of Jordan. The dinar is divided into 10 dirham, 100 qirsh or 1000 fils....

 became legal tender, and remains so there today.

There was a significant flow of population from the West Bank to East Bank, in particular to the capital, Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

.

The special committee which was supposed to make arrangements for visits to holy places was never formed. All Israelis (irrespective of their religion) were unable to enter the Old City and other holy sites. A systematic destruction of the Jewish Quarter occurred, including many ancient synagogues. Under Jordanian rule of East Jerusalem, The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

 was desecrated, with gravestones used to build latrines for Jordanian army barracks, and almost every synagogue was demolished in the period from 1948 to 1967.

See also


External links