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Palestinians Seek Union of Palestine and Jordan Under King Abdullah

(December 1, 1948)

State Department memo from Wells Stabler to the Acting Secretary of State regarding the Jericho Conference during which Palestinian Arabs expressed their desire for unity with Jordan.

CONFIDENTIAL                                                                                                                                                                                        AMMAN, December 4, 1948.

Second Palestine Arab conference held at Jericho December 1 (mytel 136 November 301-) and attended by numerous delegations including mayors of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Arab Legion Military Governor General and military governors all districts, and other notables. It is understood that organizers of meeting arranged transportation service to ensure attendance by many delegates. Audience estimated at several thousand.

While 6 resolutions were originally proposed, only 4 were adopted. According to Secretary of Conference, Ajaj Nuweihid, drafting committee still in process of completing final text of resolutions which “will go down in history.” Nuweihid said that after preamble which referred to resolutions adopted at meeting of October 1, four new resolutions contained following:

  1. Palestine Arabs desire unity between Transjordan and Arab Palestine and therefore make known their wish that Arab Palestine be annexed immediately to Transjordan. They also recognize Abdullah as their King and request him proclaim himself King of new territory.
  2. Palestine Arabs express gratitude to Arab states for their efforts in behalf of liberation of Palestine (Nuweihid indicated object of this was hint to Arab states that their job was done).
  3. Expression of thanks to Arab states for their generous assistance and support to Palestine Arab refugees.
  4. Resolve that purport of first resolution be conveyed to King at once.

Following meeting large delegation proceeded to King’s winter quarters at Shuneh to present resolution to King and request his acceptance. King replied that matter must be referred to his government and that he must also ascertain views other Arab states.

Although usual jealousies and frictions were apparent during meeting, it is believed of significance, particularly in light recent developments in UN political committee, as King may regard resolution as his mandate from Palestine Arabs.

Sent Jerusalem by pouch repeated GADel Paris as 27.


Source: Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, United States Department of State, (1948), pp. 1645-1646.