King `Abdallah's political ambitions in Palestine—the annexation of Palestine to Transjordan under his rule—and his wish to send his army (the Arab Legion) to realize these ambitions, worried leaders of Arab countries. In an attempt to prevent King `Abdallah from realizing this goal, the Arab League decided in December 1947 to establish an Arab volunteer army, known as the Arab Liberation Army, under the command of Fauzi al-Qawuqji. The aim of this irregular army was to fight the Jews and to prevent the Arabs from sending their regular armies (including the Arab Legion) to Palestine.

Al-Qawuqji and King `Abdallah, however, had been very close since 1936, when with the king's help al-Qawuqji escaped from the British to Transjordan. Al-Qawuji was opposed to the former mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Huseini, and therefore al-Qawuji and King `Abdallah were on one side against the mufti and opposed to his political ambition to establish an independent Palestinian state. This political closeness between the two leaders formed the basis of King `Abdallah's aid to al-Qawuqji and to the Arab Liberation Army's entrance into Palestine from Transjordan, in return for Palestine's staying in the Arab territories—the territories King `Abdallah wanted to annex to Transjordan. The Arab Liberation Army soldiers deployed in these territories clashed with the mufti's supporters and diminished the mufti's influence in Palestine, helping King `Abdallah finally to conquer the territories and to annex them to Transjordan.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.