The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and King Hussein of Jordan signed a peace treaty ending the 48 year state of war between the two countries.
In 1947 the United Nations approved a plan to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish, one Arab. In May 1948 the Jewish state of Israel declared independence, a move which was not welcomed by the neighbouring Arab states of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq and led to the Arab-Israeli war. A ceasefire was agreed in 1949 and temporary borders were set up with Jordan occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Throughout the 1950s Israel was attacked by Palestinian forces from the West Bank. In 1967 Syria, Jordan and Egypt set up a blockade to prevent Israel’s access to the Red Sea. The ensuing Six Day War was an Israeli success and Israel captured both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result the Palestinian population of Jordan increased considerably largely.
In 1970 King Hussein formally expelled Palestinian fighters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation from Jordan in a move known as ‘Black September’.
Although Jordan sent troops to Syria to fight Israelis in the 1973 war of Yom Kippur it did not engage in fighting along its own border with Israel.
In 1987 Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister and King Hussein of Jordan held a secret peace meetings and reached an agreement whereby Israel would concede the West Bank to Jordan, however, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir objected to the terms and the agreement was abandoned. In 1988 Jordan gave up its claim to the West Bank.
In 1994 talks between the two countries resumed and a peace agreement was reached which defined borders and opened the way for trade and transport links. The peace agreement was welcomed by the west and most Israelis but was condemned by Palestinians and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.