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Jerusalem Posts :: View topic - Black September in Jordan
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Black September in Jordan

 
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Levi



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Black September in Jordan Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote



Black September in Jordan 1970-1971

    The term Black September (Arabic: أيلول الأسود‎; aylūl al-aswad) refers to the Jordanians Civil War that began in September 1970 and ended in July of 1971. The conflict was fought between the two major components of the Jordanian population, the Palestinians represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and the native Jordanians represented by the Jordanian Armed Forces under the leadership of King Hussein. At its core the civil war sought to determine if Jordan would be ruled by the Palestine Liberation Organisation or the Hashemite Monarchy. The war resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the vast majority Palestinian. Armed conflict ended with the expulsion of the PLO leadership and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon.

    Palestinians in Jordan

    The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in late 1947 led to civil war, the end of Mandatory Palestine, and the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948. With nationhood, the ongoing civil war was transformed into a state conflict between Israel and the Arab states. Egypt, Jordan and Syria, together with expeditionary forces from Iraq, invaded Palestine. They took control of the Arab areas, and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements. The fighting was halted with the UN-mediated 1949 Armistice Agreements, but the remaining Palestinian territories came under the control of Egypt and Transjordan. In 1949, Transjordan officially changed its name to Jordan; in 1950, it annexed the West Bank of the Jordan River, and brought Palestinian representation into the government.

    Only one third of the population consisted of native Jordanians, which meant that the Jordanians had become a ruling minority over a Palestinian majority. This proved to be a mercurial element in internal Jordanian politics, and played a critical role in the political opposition. The West Bank had become the center of the national and territorial aspects of the Palestinian problem, which was the key issue of Jordan's domestic and foreign policy. According to King Hussein, the Palestinian problem spelled "life or death" for Jordan, and would remain the country's overriding national security issue.

    King Hussein feared an independent West Bank under PLO administration would threaten the autonomy of his Hashemite kingdom. The Palestinian factions were supported variously by many Arab regimes, most notably Egypt's president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who gave political support; and Saudi Arabia, which gave financial support.[citation needed] The Palestinian nationalist organization Fatah started organizing attacks against Israel in January 1965, and Israel was subject to repeated cross-border attacks by Palestinian fedayeen; these often drew reprisals. The Samu Incident was one such reprisal. Jordan had long maintained secret contacts with Israel concerning peace and security along their border. However, due to internal splits within the Jordanian government and population, many of King Hussein's orders to stop these raids were not obeyed, and some Jordanian commanders along the Israeli-Jordanian border were lending passive assistance to the Palestinian raids.

    Jordanian army attacks

    On 15 September, King Hussein appointed Field Marshal Habis al Majali commander in chief of the armed forces and declared martial law. The head of a Pakistani training mission to Jordan, Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (later Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan), played a key role in planning the offensives. The next day, Jordanian tanks of the 60th Armored Brigade attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman; the army also attacked camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq'aa, Wehdat and Zarqa. However, the Jordanians could not devote all their attention to the Palestinians. The 3rd Armoured Division of the Iraqi Army had remained in Jordan after the 1967 war. The Iraqi regime sympathised with the Palestinians, and it was unclear whether the division would intervene on behalf of the Palestinians. Thus the 99th Brigade of the Jordanian 3rd Armoured Division had to be retained to watch the Iraqi division. Furthermore, the 40th Armored Brigade, 2nd infantry division, and other supporting units positioned in northern Jordan could not devote all their efforts to the PLO due to concerns of Syrian invasion. Finally, political and economic pressure on Jordan by Arab leaders who sympathized with the PLO limited the success of this first offensive. Nevertheless, the Jordanian army regained control of key cities and intersections in the country before accepting the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt's Nasser on the 27th of September. By late November, the Jordanians had regrouped and were ready to resume their campaign to expel the PLO. The King placed Brig. Gen. Zid bin Shaker in charge of the operation. Under his command, the Jordanians conducted a systematic and meticulous campaign against the PLO. First, the army regained control of all major cities with PLO presence. Second, the army forced the PLO into the mountains of Ajloun and Jarash. Finally, the army besieged the PLO in the mountains, and between fighting and surrenders the PLO was completely eradicated.

    Arafat later claimed that the Jordanian army killed between 10,000 and 25,000 Palestinians, although more conservative estimates put the number between 1,000 and 2,000.

    Hostage David Raab described the initial military actions in Black September this way:

      "We were in the middle of the shelling since Ashrafiyeh was among the Jordanian Army's primary targets. Electricity was cut off, and again we had little food or water. Friday afternoon, we heard the metal tracks of a tank clanking on the pavement. We were quickly herded into one room, and the guerrillas threw open the doors to make the building appear abandoned so it wouldn't attract fire. Suddenly, the shelling stopped."

    The armored troops were inefficient in narrow city streets and thus the Jordanian army conducted house to house sweeps for Palestinian fighters and became immersed in heavy urban warfare with the Palestinian fighters.

    Amman experienced the heaviest fighting in the Black September uprising. Syrian tanks rolled across the Yarmouk River into northern Jordan and began shelling Amman and other northern urban areas. Outdated missiles fired by the PLO struck Amman for more than a week. Jordanian infantry pushed the Palestinian Fedayeen out of Amman after weeks of bitter fighting. In June 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan during the Six-Day War.

    Casualties

    Estimates of the number of the people killed in the ten days of Black September range from three thousand to more than five thousand, although exact numbers are unknown. The Palestinian death toll in 11 days of fighting was estimated by Jordan at 3,400, while Palestinian sources often cite the number 5,000, mainly civilians, killed. Arafat at some point claimed that 10,000 had been killed. The Western reporters were concentrated at the Intercontinental Hotel, away from the action. Nasser's state-controlled Voice of the Arabs from Cairo reported genocide. One cameraman was shot dead in the Intercontinental Hotel, Jordanian tanks fired straight through the hotel and there was a heavy machine gun firing from the roof of the hotel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan#Black_September_1970
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Yochanan



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:39 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

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