Hussein I


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Hussein I

(ho͝osān`, –īn`), 1935–99, king of Jordan; educated in England at Harrow and Sandhurst. He ascended the throne (1953) after his grandfather Abdullah IAbdullah I
(Abdullah ibn Husayn) , 1882–1951, king of Jordan (1946–51), b. Mecca; son of Husayn ibn Ali of the Hashemite family. During World War I, Abdullah, with British support, led Arab revolts against Turkish rule.
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 had been killed (1951) by a Palestinian extremist and after his father was declared (1952) mentally unfit to serve as king. The target of more than a dozen assassination attempts, Hussein generally espoused a moderate pro-Western policy that brought him into conflict with leftist leaders in other Arab countries as well as with Palestinians in Jordan. He maintained his throne largely through the support of the British-trained Arab Legion and the fierce loyalty of the Bedouins of E Jordan. Despite a generally moderate stance toward Israel, he led Jordan into the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as a result of which Israel occupied all Jordan W of the Jordan River (the West BankWest Bank,
territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea.
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). This loss intensified the conflict between Hussein and the Palestinian guerrilla movement, and civil war erupted in 1970. Hussein was victorious and strengthened his rule, but at a 1974 Arab summit meeting he agreed to relinquish any claim to the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation OrganizationPalestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), coordinating council for Palestinian organizations, founded (1964) by Egypt and the Arab League and initially controlled by Egypt.
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. During the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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, Hussein was isolated internationally when he refused to join the coalition against Iraq. Subsequently, however, he played a role in encouraging peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis, and in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. He was succeeded by his son Abdullah IIAbdullah II
, 1962–, king of Jordan (1999–), b. Amman, educated at Sandhurst and Oxford in England and Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C. He joined (1984) the Jordanian military, rose swiftly, became (1994) head of Jordan's Special Forces, and attained (1998) the
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, an army officer he had named crown prince only weeks before he died.

Bibliography

See biographies by N. Ashton (2008) and A. Shlaim (2008).