Jordan's disengagement from the West Bank

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Jordan's disengagement from the West Bank (in Arabic: قرار فك الارتباط), in which Jordan surrendered the claim to sovereignty over the West Bank, took place on 31 July 1988.[1]

Overview[edit]

The West Bank territories which were conquered by Jordan in 1948 during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, were officially annexed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 24 April 1950. The annexation of these territories was officially recognized by only a few countries, among them the United Kingdom.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel conquered among others these territories from Jordan, although Jordan, despite not continuing to be the actual sovereign, continued to pay salaries and pensions to civil servants and to provide services to endowments and educational affairs.

In 1972, King Hussein conceived a plan to establish a united Arab federation which would include the West Bank and Jordan. This proposal never came to be.

In 1974, the Arab League decided to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The decision forced King Hussein to relinquish his claim to speak for the Palestinian people during peace negotiations and to recognize an independent Palestinian state that is independent of Jordan.

On 28 July 1988, King Hussein announced the cessation of a $1.3 billion development program for the West Bank explaining that the aim of this move is to allow the PLO to take more responsibility for these territories.[2] Two days later the king dissolved Jordan's lower house of parliament, half of whose members represented constituencies in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.[3]

On 31 July 1988, King Hussein announced the severance of all legal and administrative ties with the West Bank, except for the Jordanian sponsorship of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. In his speech to the nation held on that day he announced his decision and explained that this decision was made with the aim of helping the Palestinian people establishing their own independent state.[4][5]

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