Jordan History  

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JORDAN

Jordan was created out of the greater mandated Palestine following World War I. The British saw an opportunity to appease Abdullah, a son of Hussein ibn Ali, who was ruler of the Hejaz in Arabia. In 1923, the Kingdom of Transjordan was carved out of the area of mandated Palestine and the Hashemite dynasty began. Though Transjordan was an Allies supporter during World War II, in 1948 the country joined the Arab League, changed its name to Jordan. and participated in the 1948 war with Israel. As a consequence of this conflict, Jordan gained territory: the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem which were annexed n 1950. Many of the Arab refugees from that war were placed in camps in the West Bank and the population of Jordan is today, overwhelmingly Palestinian. The late King Hussein came to the throne in 1952 following the assassination of his grandfather, King Abdullah and the abdication of his father due to mental illness. Hussein went to war against Israel once again in 1967. The Six Day War left Israel in control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, along with other territories seized from Egypt and Syria. Though Jordan had once hoped to remain the negotiator for the Palestinians in the matters of territory, it was forced to cede that power to the PLO under Yassir Arafat. Jordan has made some questionable decisions over the years including its opposition to the Camp David accords and the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and its support of Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War in 1991. But its charismatic king and policies that appeared to Western eyes as moderate, particularly when compared with its more radical neighbors, has helped Jordan to be viewed favorably by the US. And, Jordan's decision to make a formal peace with Israel in 1994, also earned the country renewed respect. Hussein's death in 1999 resulted in the ascension to the throne of his son, Abdullah who has pledged to continue his father's efforts on behalf of peace.