'Jordan offered Arafat top gov't post'

Telegraph report: King Hussein feared rift due to refugees and sought to make PLO head deputy PM.

September 28, 2007 05:50
arafat portrait 298

arafat portrait 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Jordan's King Hussein offered former PLO leader Yasser Arafat a senior position in the Jordanian government in 1974, London's Daily Telegraph reported overnight Thursday. According to newly-released documents, Hussein was afraid of losing control of his country following the capture of the West Bank - home to masses of Palestinian refugees - in the 1967 Six Day War. In an effort to forestall such a rift, the king offered to make Arafat his deputy prime minister. However, the proposal was evidently not accepted. Arafat aimed to create an independent Palestinian state and strongly advocated the Right of Return for the refugees in Jordan. Hussein later ceded all of the West Bank in 1988, a move meant to ensure that any Palestinian state would be set up on land controlled by Israel and not by Jordan.

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