Secret or "discreet"
contacts between the leaders of the Yishuv and later of Israel
and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan or Jordan began in the
early days of the British Mandate and continued into the late
1980s. These covert contacts were initiated with King Abdullah,
the grandfather of King Hussein, Jordan's present ruler. Some
observers have speculated that, together with Jordan's annexation
of the West Bank in 1950, these contacts may have been responsible
for Abdullah's assassination by a Palestinian gunman in East Jerusalem
in July 1951. According to Israeli journalists Yossi Melman and
Dan Raviv, Hussein renewed Jordan's ties with Israel in 1963.
Following Jordan's ill-fated participation in the June 1967 War,
secret meetings took place between Hussein and Israeli leaders
in 1968, and they lasted until Begin's accession to power in 1977.
This "secret" relationship was revived in 1984, following Labor's
participation in the National Unity Government, and intensified
in 1986-87. The participants reached agreements on Israeli-Jordanian
cooperation on such issues as the role of pro-Jordanian Palestinian
moderates in the peace process, setting up branches of Jordan's
Cairo-Amman Bank in the West Bank, and generally increasing Amman's
influence and involvement in the West Bank's financial, agricultural,
education, and health affairs, thus blocking the PLO. The last
reported meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs Peres and
King Hussein took place in London in November 1987, when the two
leaders signed a "memorandum of understanding" on a peace plan.
Upon his return to Israel, however, Peres was unable to win support
for the agreement in the Israeli cabinet.
Data as of December 1988