The West Bank Under Jordan
Although in 1950 the West Bank became constitutionally unified with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under the slogan “Unity of the Two Banks,” no effective integration between them was attained during the nearly two decades of Jordanian rule over the area. Rallied around politically radical parties and increasingly engulfed by the anti-western Nasserist wave, the West Bank Palestinians repeatedly demonstrated their discontent over a host of political issues, such as Jordan’s tight reliance on Britain and the US—demanding an inter-Arab alliance instead—Arabisation of the military, equalising the status of Jerusalem to that of Amman, economic neglect of the West Bank, and most of all democratisation of the political system. Following the repression of all political parties in 1957, the Palestinian grievances assumed a more violent form and closer collaboration with Egypt and Syria. The Hashemite regime indeed managed to survive the tide of Nasserism and growing militancy among the West Bank Palestinians. Nonetheless, with the advent of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964 and Fatah’s sabotage operations against Israel as of 1965, the Palestinian agitation against the Hashemite monarch grew more loud and militant, culminating in mass demonstrations during the May 1967 Israeli-Arab crisis in support of joining the Nasser-led Arab coalition, which eventually accounted for Jordan’s involvement in the June war and loss of the West Bank to Israel.
KeywordsJordan Hashemite Kingdom West Bank East Bank Palestine Nasserism Jerusalem Israel PLO
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