Transjordan Defies Arab League; Parliament Decides to Annex Arab Part of Palestine

The Transjordan Parliament unanimously approved today the incorporation of the Arab part of Palestine into Transjordan despite a warning from the Arab League. The Parliament is composed of representatives of the population of Transjordan and of the Arab parts of Palestine occupied by Transjordan troops.

The decision of the Parliament to unite Transjordan with the Arab part of Palestine–reported by the Transjordan radio–was taken in the face of a resolution adopted recently by the Arab League that if such a move were made, Transjordan would be ousted from membership in the seven-nation Arab regional alliance and economic sanctions would be imposed on Transjordan by the remaining members of the League.

In a speech from the throne, read by Transjordan Premier Said Pasha el Mufti, King Abdullah said that the existing situation of Transjordan and Palestine made the unification “imperative.” Transjordan, he declared, stands “with its wings spread over the east and the west banks of the Jordan River and therefore considers it within its natural rights to reunite the people on both sides of the river.”

The Transjordan ruler, who was present when his speech was read in the Parliament, emphasized that he considered invalid the resolution adopted by the Arab League against the unification of Transjordan and Arab Palestine. “The unanimous participation of the people on both sides of the Jordan in the recent Parliamentary election was an indication of their feeling of inherent unity of purpose,” he stated.

ISRAEL DOES NOT CONSIDER ANNEXATION AS BINDING FOR THE JEWISH STATE

“The annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan today is a unilateral move and is not binding on Israel,” a spokesman for the Israel Government stated here in commenting on the announcement that Transjordan has decided to absorb Arab Palestine.

Israel is bound to Transjordan by an armistice agreement, the spokesman pointed out, but this agreement does not take account of a final political solution, nor is any final settlement of the Palestine frontiers possible without the conclusion of a peace pact between Israel and Transjordan, he said. The question of the status of the Arab areas situated west of the Jordan River, therefore, remains open as far as Israel is concerned, he emphasized.

The British-controlled Near East Arabic radio today prodicted that any action on the part of the Arab League against Transjordan will lead to closer relations between Transjordan and Israel. The prediction was made in connection with a warning issued by the Arab League against Transjordan annexation of the Arab part of Palestine.

The Transjordan radio at Ramallah today reported that King Abdullah told his people this week-end that he could not follow the policy of the League. He pointed out that Egypt was the first country to “rush” to Rhodes to sign an armistice with Israel. “We fought alone, and we must draw up our future policy alone,” Abdullah said. He indicated that the United States would support him if Transjordan is ostracized by the Arab League.

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