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Remembering a King with vision

Jul 22,2017 - Last updated at Jul 22,2017

Jordan marked on July 20 the 66th anniversary of the assassination of King Abdullah the first.

The King was killed upon entering Al Aqsa Mosque on that day in 1951.

Better known for leading the Arab forces of the Great Arab Revolt together with his brothers Ali, Faisal and Zeid to liberate the Arab world from the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the late King is also remembered for establishing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1946 after concluding the 1946 Anglo-Transjordan Treaty.

He united Jordan with the West Bank in 1950, a union that came to an unfortunate end after the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967, which set in motion a chain of events that led to the formal breakdown of the united country at the time.

The severance of the two banks of the Jordan River complicated, ever since, the negotiations for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank.

Israel still occupies the West Bank as a direct result of the breakdown of unity between the two banks of River Jordan.

UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in 1967, specifically called for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the West Bank in favour of Jordan and no one else.

The late King had enlightened policies that saved the West Bank from Israeli designs to occupy the entire territory of Palestine.

He saved what he could of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, by a mixture of military force and astute diplomacy.

King Abdullah’s counsel on the Palestinian case was not heeded by the Arab world.

The King’s vision was to seek political accommodation with Israel on the best possible terms while the cards were not yet stacked against such a solution, instead of venturing into a military solution.

 

The entire Palestinian conflict could have taken a different turn had he lived. There is little doubt that the Palestinian case would have been settled on honourable terms a long time ago had his life was not cut short by the bullets of an assassin driven by forces of darkness.

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