The Secret Negotiations between Israel and Jordan over Routine Security Measures, 1967–1971

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The phenomenon of the secret bilateral negotiations that took place between Israel and Jordan over routine security measures was unique in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel had exhorted Jordan to suppress the Palestinian organizations’ Fida͗ī activity, and the expectation was high that the combination of political pressure and military retaliation would force King Hussein to quell the Fida’iyyun. The Israelis tried to differentiate between the Fida’iyyun and the political situation while the Hashemite regime sought to restrain Israel’s responses by laying out its efforts to suppress Fida͗ī activity. King Hussein’s strategy hinged on progress in the political arena and a corresponding ability or intention to suppress the Fida’iyyun without destabilizing his regime. Although the IDF ousted the guerrillas from the West Bank and blocked them from the Jordan Valley and the eastern border, it failed to eliminate them, and the mortar fire and rocket barrages on Beit She’an and the Jordan Valley settlements persisted until the eruption of civil war in Jordan in September 1970. In this regard, Israel’s policy of retaliation was unsuccessful, and the guerrilla bases were ultimately eradicated by and large due to the threat they posed as “a state within a state” to the Hashemite regime. The talks between Israel and Jordan are examined here via the diaries of Yaakov Herzog who was Director of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-118
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Fida’iyyun organizations
  • Israel-Jordan relations
  • Jordan-Israel secret negotiations
  • PLO’s state within a state
  • Palestinian armed struggle
  • Yaakov Herzog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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