• Short Summary

    King Hussein of Jordan formally proposed on Wednesday (March 15) a new Federal Arab Kingdom which would ???

  • Description

    King Hussein of Jordan formally proposed on Wednesday (March 15) a new Federal Arab Kingdom which would ???ncompass two regions--the east bank of the Jordan river with Amman as its capital, and the west bank -- under Israeli occupation since the 1967 war--with Jerusalem as its capital.

    The 36-year-old monarch, who once had a m???dal shot from his chest in an assassination attempt--told Jordanian leaders and representatives from the west bank that under his plan, the Hash???mit??? Kingdom of Jordan would be renamed the United Arab Kingdom.

    The west bank area would include "any other liberated Arab territories" whose population wished to join the new state--an oblique reference to the Gaza strip.

    The King would be the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the new Kingdom's unified armed forces, wielding central executive authority assisted by a central cabinet of ministers. Central legislative authority would also lie with the King, and a council known as the National Assembly.

    The plan, partially disclosed by diplomatic sources earlier in the week, has already been d???nounced by the Palestinian Commando movement. In B???irut, the Fatah Information Office said the plan had been rejected out of hand by the Palestinian masses--and it accused King Hussein of trying to destroy the resistance movement.

    The Jordanian plan should be seen against the background of the forthcoming municipal elections planned by Israeli authorities for the occupied West Bank in April. The Jordanian government has already denounced these elections--the first since the 1967 war--as an Israeli plot to give their military occupation a legitimate basis.

    SYNOPSIS: In Jordan--a blueprint for the future of the Middle East. King Hussein has announced a plan to link Jordan with Palestinian territories occupied by Israel into a new, Federal Arab Kingdom.

    Jordanian troops have been keeping constant watch on the border since the 1967 war with Israel--which still controls west bank regions. About half of Jordan's two million population lived on the west bank.

    Israeli troops have been equally alert. In April, the Israelis plan to hold municipal elections in the occupied areas. Jordan opposes these elections--and under the King's plan, the Hashemite Kingdom would change its name to the United Arab Kingdom, with King Hussein as its Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the unified armed forces.

    Gaza, which was under Egyptian administration until the 1967 war, was not mentioned when the King revealed his plan in Amman to Jordanian leaders. But he did say the new state would include any liberated Arab territory wishing to join it. The plan has been condemned by the Palestinian Commandos, who claim the young king is trying to destroy the resistance movement. But King Hussein-who once had a medal shot off his chest in an assassination attempt-says all Jordanians and Palestinians would be equal citizens in the new state. Amman would be the capital of both the Federation and the Jordanian east bank region.

    In the west bank region, Jerusalem would be the capital. Israeli authorities have allowed unrestricted visits to Holy areas--under tight security precautions.

    Linking the two banks of the Jordan is an effort to restore stability to Jordan. And many Jordanians would welcome the move--for at least one-third of all Jordanians are refugees from Israeli occupation, or descendants of refugees who lost their homes when Israel was created in 1948. But the key to the plan still rests with Israel.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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