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History, The Arab League and Jordan

Arab League members, Jordanian army, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Transjordan, King Abdullah

In May 1948 the Jordanian army, known at that time as the Arab Legion, joined with the armed forces of the other Arab League nations in a concerted attack on the newly formed state of Israel. During the war the Arab Legion occupied sections of central Palestine, including the Old City of Jerusalem. Transjordan signed an armistice with Israel on April 3, 1949.

In April 1949 King Abdullah changed the name of the country to Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Hashemite refers to Hashim, the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, from whom the Jordanian royal house claims direct descent. On April 24, 1950, despite strong opposition from other Arab League members, the king formally merged all of Arab-held Palestine with Jordan and granted citizenship to West Bank residents.

King Abdullah was assassinated on July 20, 1951, by a Palestinian opposed to Jordanian tolerance of Israel, and was succeeded by his son Talal I the following September. On August 11, 1952, the Jordanian parliament deposed Talal, who suffered from a mental disorder, and elevated his son to become Hussein I the same day. A regency council acted for the new king until he reached the age of 18 on May 2, 1953.

Armed Jordanian and Israeli detachments were involved in frequent frontier clashes during the early 1950s. Major sources of friction were Israeli irrigation and hydroelectric schemes that would have reduced the volume of the Jordan waters, considered vital to Jordanian development.

Article key phrases:

Arab League members, Jordanian army, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Transjordan, King Abdullah, Hashim, Old City of Jerusalem, Prophet Muhammad, armistice, Hussein, new king, mental disorder, strong opposition, armed forces, Palestine, citizenship, Palestinian, war, volume, great-grandfather, day, country, age, time


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