Re-energizing a West Bank-Jordan Alliance

(Middle East Quarterly) Dan Diker and Pinchas Inbari - Israeli intelligence assessments of the November 9, 2005, Amman suicide attacks suggest jihadist groups are working to acquire operational footholds close to Israel's borders. Jordanian assessments oppose any Gaza-style Israeli unilateral disengagement from the West Bank for fear that warlords, jihadists, and armed militias would fill the resulting security vacuum. Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups could find fertile ground in the West Bank to strike at both the Hashemite kingdom and the Jewish state. West Bankers see prosperous East Bank Palestinian families well-integrated into the Jordanian system, owning majority stakes in Jordan's banking, industrial, commerce, and agricultural sectors. The current situation creates a stark choice for moderate West Bank Palestinians: either link up with Islamist and anarchic Gaza, or tie the West Bank's future to a relatively affluent and stable Jordan that has a good working relationship with neighboring Israel.

2006-04-07 00:00:00

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