Fanack Home / Palestine / Past to Present / The West Bank

The West Bank

Jordan Palestine West Bank

In the War of 1948, the region that today comprises the West Bank was taken over by King Abdullah I of Transjordan’s army (following a secret agreement with the leaders of the Zionist movement). As a result, the region was abruptly cut off from the rest of Palestine, with dramatic social and economic consequences. The core area was transferred from the relatively highly developed western part of Palestine to the desert state in developing Transjordan.

The Jordanian rulers annexed the West Bank in 1950. As Transjordan now encompassed both the East and the West Bank, together with the annexation the name Transjordan was transformed into the (Hashemite Arab) Kingdom of Jordan. To enforce their claim, the authorities introduced the term ‘West Bank’ for the region, and it was forbidden to use a term which included the word ‘Palestine’ in official Jordanian documents. Following the annexation, Palestinians living in the West Bank and in former Transjordan were given Jordanian nationality (albeit later with the registration in their passports that they originated from the West Bank).

Between 1948 and 1967, the West Bank remained in Jordanian hands. It was a rule of domination, the Palestinian population’s interests, both politically and economically, wholly subordinate to those of the rulers in the East Bank. In the process, the natural resources of the West Bank were used to facilitate the development of the East Bank. Through a combination of co-optation by part of the elite and repression of Palestinians who resisted the Jordanian domination, the Jordanian rulers managed to keep control over matters in the West Bank until 1967.

Armed resistance by Palestinians in the West Bank was met with heavy Israeli reprisals. An infamous event was the Israeli commando operation in the village of Qibya (12 October 1953), when dozens of houses were blown up and more than forty citizens were killed.

The Qibya Massacre
The Qibya Massacre


<!–

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

image_pdfimage_print

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.