Amman is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, the country's economic and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate; the city has a land area of 1,680 square kilometres. Today, Amman is considered to be among the most modernized Arab cities, it is a major tourist destination in the region among Arab and European tourists. The earliest evidence of settlement in Amman is in a Neolithic site known as'Ain Ghazal, where some of the oldest human statues found dating to 7250 BC were uncovered. During the Iron Age, the city was known as Ammon, home to the Kingdom of the Ammonites, it was named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods, was called Amman during the Islamic period. Abandoned for much of the medieval and post-medieval period, modern Amman dates to the late 19th century when Circassian immigrants were settled there by the Ottoman Empire in 1867; the first municipal council was established in 1909. Amman witnessed rapid growth after its designation as Jordan's capital in 1921, after several successive waves of refugees: Palestinians in 1948 and 1967.
It was built on seven hills but now spans over 19 hills combining 27 districts, which are administered by the Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Yousef Shawarbeh. Areas of Amman have gained their names from either the hills or the valleys they occupy, such as Jabal Lweibdeh and Wadi Abdoun. East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city. Two million visitors arrived in Amman in 2014, which made it the 93rd most visited city in the world and the 5th most visited Arab city. Amman has a fast growing economy, it is ranked Beta− on the global city index. Moreover, it was named one of the Middle East and North Africa's best cities according to economic, labor and socio-cultural factors; the city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai. It is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region.
Amman derives its name from the 13th century BC when the Ammonites named it "Rabbath Ammon", with the term Rabbath meaning the "Capital" or the "King's Quarters". Over time, the term "Rabbath" was no longer used and the city became known as "Ammon"; the influence of new civilizations that conquered the city changed its name to "Amman". In the Hebrew Bible, it is referred to as "Rabbat ʿAmmon". However, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom who reigned from 283 to 246 BC, renamed the city to "Philadelphia" after occupying it; the name was given as an adulation to Philadelphus. The neolithic site of'Ain Ghazal was found in the outskirts of Amman. At its height, around 7000 BC, it was inhabited by ca. 3000 people. At that time the site was a typical aceramic Neolithic village, its houses were rectangular mud-bricked buildings that included a main square living room, whose walls were made up of lime plaster. The site was discovered in 1974. By 1982, when the excavations started, around 600 meters of road ran through the site.
Despite the damage brought by urban expansion, the remains of'Ain Ghazal provided a wealth of information.'Ain Ghazal is well known for a set of small human statues found in 1983, when local archaeologists stumbled upon the edge of a large pit 2.5 meters containing them. These statues are human figures made with white plaster, with painted clothes, in some cases ornamental tattoos. Thirty-two figures were found in two caches, fifteen of them full figures, fifteen busts, two fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed, the significance of, not clear. In the 13th century BC Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, became known as "Rabbath Ammon". Ammon provided several natural resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone, along with a productive agricultural sector that made Ammon a vital location along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia and Anatolia; as with the Edomites and Moabites, trade along this route gave the Ammonites considerable revenue.
Ammonites worshiped. Excavations by archaeologists near Amman Civil Airport uncovered a temple, which included an altar containing many human bone fragments; the bones showed evidence of burning, which led to the assumption that the altar functioned as a pyre. Today, several Ammonite ruins across Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd, Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the Amman Citadel; the ruins of Rujm Al-Malfouf consist of a stone watchtower used to ensure protection of their capital and several store rooms to the east. The city was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire. Conquest of the Middle East and Central Asia by Alexander the Great consolidated the influence of Hellenistic culture; the Greeks founded new cities in the area of modern-day Jordan, including Umm Qays and Amman. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, who occupied and rebuilt the city, na
Tourism in Jordan
Jordan The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a sovereign Arab state in the Middle East. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and Palestine to the west. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe; the capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic and cultural centre. Its major tourist attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Petra, the Jordan River, Mount Nebo, numerous medieval mosques and churches, unspoiled natural locations, as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions. Jordan offers health tourism, focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking and scuba diving in Aqaba's coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan's cities. More than half of the approximate 4.8 million Arab tourists in 2009 from the GCC, said they plan to spend their holidays in Jordan. Petra in Wadi Musa, home of the Nabateans, is a complete city carved in a mountain.
The huge rocks are colorful pink, the entrance to the ancient city is through a 1.25 km narrow gorge in the mountain—called the Siq. In the city are various structures, all are carved into rock, including al Khazneh – known as the Treasury –, designated as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" by the for-profit New Open World Corporation. Other major sites of interest in Petra include the Monastery, the Roman theater, the Royal Tombs, the High Place of Sacrifice. Petra was rediscovered for the Western world by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Umm Qais, a town on the site of the ruined Hellenistic–Roman city Jerash is famous for its ancient Roman architecture, with colonnaded streets, Corinthian arches, outdoor Roman Theaters and the Oval Plaza. Shoubak with its Crusader Castle "Crac de Montreal", Marking both the eastern and southern frontier of Crusader expansion. Ajloun has a medieval Crusader castle Al Karak contains an important castle from the times of Salah al-Din, known as Al-Karak Castle.
Umm el-Jimal, the so-called "Black Gem of the Desert", was once a town on the margins of the Decapolis. Rural and well to do, it was a fitting contrast to the surrounding busy cities, its black basalt mansions and towers, some still standing three stories high, have long inspired poets. Montreal Crusader castle, less than an hour north of Petra; the ruins, called Shoubak or Shawbak in Arabic, are located in modern town of Shoubak. It dates from the same turbulent period as Karak; the fortress fell to Saladin. Inscriptions by his successors appear on the castle wall. Qasr Amra, one of the best preserved Umayyad Islamic period monuments, its interior walls and ceilings are covered with unique frescoes, two of the rooms are paved with colourful mosaics. It, too, is a World Heritage Site. Umm ar-Rasas, Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, these ruins show a mix of Roman and early Muslim architecture. Among its treasures is the largest church mosaic floor in the country. Muwakir was the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great.
Upon Herod's death, his son Herod Antipas inhabited the fortress, ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded there and where the fabled Salomé daughter of Herodias is said to have danced the famous Dance of the Seven Veils thus asking for John the Baptists' head. Jordan River, the river where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist according to Christian tradition. Madaba is well known for its mosaics, as well as important religious sites such as The Madaba Map, the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and Jerusalem, it dates to the 6th century AD. Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have gone to get a view of the Promised Land before he died, according to the Bible. Aqaba is a town on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba with numerous shopping centers and access to various water sports and protected coral reefs and marine life, it has the ruins of the mediaeval town of other Edomite ruins. Aqaba has a vibrant nightlife scene on holiday weekends when thousands of wealthy Jordanians visit the coastal city.
Numerous raves and concerts are held by international DJ's and artists at the major resorts and beach clubs. Aqaba is seeing nearly $20 billion worth of developments centered on tourism and real estate projects transforming the city into a "new Dubai"; the Dead Sea – It is the lowest point on earth, 402 metres below sea level, becomes 1 meter lower each year. It is the only depository of River Jordan and was part of the biblical kingdoms of Midianites and the Moabites; the Dead Sea area is home to numerous world-class resorts such as the Kempinski, Mövenpick and Marriott. In addition, there are a public beach and international restaurants; the ultra-chic destination in the area, however, is the O-Beach, home to cabanas, international restaurants, a beach club. Amman is a modern and cosmopolitan city known for its shopping centers and ruins. Amman contains numerous ancient ruins, with one dating back to 7250 BC at the ruins of'Ain Ghazal neolithic village. Other ruins include Amman Citadel, a hilltop in east Amman that combines many ruins left by several ancient civilizations such a
Petra known to its inhabitants as Raqmu, is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. Petra lies on the slope of Jabal Al-Madbah in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of the Arabah valley that runs from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra is believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, it was established in the 4th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom; the Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who invested in Petra's proximity to the trade routes by establishing it as a major regional trading hub. The trading business gained the Nabataeans considerable revenue and Petra became the focus of their wealth; the earliest historical reference to Petra was an attack to the city ordered by Antigonus I in 312 BC recorded by various Greek historians. The Nabataeans were, unlike their enemies, accustomed to living in the barren deserts, were able to repel attacks by utilizing the area's mountainous terrain, they were skillful in harvesting rainwater and stone carving.
Petra flourished in the 1st century AD when its famous Khazneh structure – believed to be the mausoleum of Nabataean King Aretas IV – was constructed, its population peaked at an estimated 20,000 inhabitants. Although the Nabataean Kingdom became a client state for the Roman Empire in the first century BC, it was only in 106 AD that they lost their independence. Petra fell to the Romans, who renamed Nabataea to Arabia Petraea. Petra's importance declined as sea trade routes emerged, after a 363 earthquake destroyed many structures; the Byzantine Era witnessed the construction of several Christian churches, but the city continued to decline, by the early Islamic era became an abandoned place where only a handful of nomads lived. It remained unknown to the world; the city is accessed through a 1.2-kilometre-long gorge called the Siq, which leads directly to the Khazneh. Famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system, Petra is called the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.
It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage". In 2007, Al-Khazneh was voted in as one of the New7Wonders of the World. Petra is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction. Tourist numbers peaked at 1 million in 2010. However, tourist numbers have picked up and around 800,000 tourists visited the site in 2018. Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Tadeanos and the center of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress, but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, across the desert to the Persian Gulf. Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis.
The area is visited by flash floods, archaeological evidence demonstrates the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams and water conduits. These innovations stored water for prolonged periods of drought and enabled the city to prosper from its sale. In ancient times, Petra might have been approached from the south on a track leading across the plain of Petra, around Jabal Haroun, the location of the Tomb of Aaron, said to be the burial-place of Aaron, brother of Moses. Another approach was from the high plateau to the north. Today, most modern visitors approach the site from the east; the impressive eastern entrance leads steeply down through a dark, narrow gorge called the Siq, a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh, hewn into the sandstone cliff. While remaining in remarkably preserved condition, the face of the structure is marked by hundreds of bullet holes made by the local Bedouin tribes that hoped to dislodge riches that were once rumored to be hidden within it.
A little further from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr, is a massive theatre, positioned so as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view. At the point where the valley opens out into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect; the theatre has been cut into several of the tombs during its construction. Rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Enclosing it on three sides are rose-colored mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures and lined with knobs cut from the rock in the form of towers. In Petra, there is a semi-arid climate. Most rain falls in the winter; the Köppen-Geiger climate classification is BSk. The average annual temperature in Petra is 15.5 °C. About 193 mm of precipitation falls annually. By 2010 BC, some of the earliest recorded farmers had settled in Beidha, a pre-pottery settlement just north of Petra. Petra is listed in the Amarna letters as Pel, Sela or Seir. Though the city was founded late, a sanctuary has existed there since ancient times.
Historian Josephus describes the region as inhabited by the Madianite nation as early as 1340 BC, that
Nature reserves in Jordan
There are at least seven nature reserves in Jordan. In 1966, the organization that would start Jordan's nature reserves, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, was founded. RSCN's first efforts involved bringing back endangered species. In 1973, RSCN, was given the right to issue hunting licenses, giving RSCN an upper hand in preventing extinction; the first step was the founding of Jordan's first nature reserve, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, in 1975. The primary purpose was to create means to breed endangered species, specifically: the Arabian oryx, gazelles and Persian onagers in their natural environment. In 1994, shortly after Dana Biosphere Reserve was established, RSCN began its Research and Survey section, made up of experienced researchers with the primary goal of collecting information at the reserves needed to create a sustainable living environment for wild animals through scientific research. Shortly thereafter, Wild Jordan was created as a business branch of RSCN dealing with socio-economic projects.
In 1999, RSCN started a training program to build regional skill in conserving nature. RSCN raised more awareness in 2005 with a "Save Jordan's Trees" campaign. Jordan's sixth and latest nature reserve, Dibeen Forest Reserve, was created in 2004, cementing 1,200 square kilometres of protected natural landscape throughout Jordan. In addition, there are eight proposed nature reserves in Jordan, two more sites that are possible candidates for preservation. Dana Biosphere Reserve simply called Dana Nature Reserve, is Jordan's largest reserve, located in and around the town of Dana in the mountains east of Wadi Araba; the geography of the reserve is characterized by steep cliffs in rocky wadis covered by small trees and shrubs. The varied geology switches from limestone to sandstone to granite; some illegal activities such as grazing and woodcutting continue. Illegal hunting threatens chukar populations. Mujib Nature Reserve known as Wadi Mujib, is a long canyon feeding the Dead Sea running through the ancient region of Moab and the lowest nature reserve in the world.
Directly east of the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib is made up by a network of freshwater streams, making an otherwise arid area more fertile. The lush riverbeds provide support for aquatic plants; as well as containing 300 species of plants, Wadi Mujib contains at least 10 species of carnivores and other animals, including the hyrax and the Nubian ibex, reintroduced into the wild by RSCN. Illegal hunting continues to impede efforts to reach a sustainable number of wild ibexes. Ajloun Forest Reserve is in north Jordan, near Jerash and Ajloun, close to the Ajloun Castle; the reserve consists of rolling hills in a Mediterranean-like environment, covered in evergreen oaks, as well as strawberry and pistachio trees, among others. Stone martens, red foxes, striped hyenas, Persian squirrels and wolves inhabit this area. Owned lands surrounding the reserve pose threats, including illegitimate access to the reserve, resulting in illegal hunting and grazing. Cooperation with local inhabitants has resulted in increased awareness in the community regarding the preservation of the forest.
Dibeen Forest, close to the ancient Roman city of Jerash, is the newest reserve in Jordan, established in 2004. The forest is a pine-oak habitat, housing the Aleppo pine and marking the geographical limit of this type of forest. Animal inhabitants such as the Persian squirrel were main reasons for the establishment of the reserve and were considered top priority. Strawberry and wild olive trees grow in the reserve. Trash, notably plastic, presents a major problem in the reserve the result of careless visitors; the Azraq Wetlands, located in Jordan's eastern desert near the town of Azraq, is RSCN's only wetlands reserve. The reserve, once a popular stopover for millions of migratory birds going from Africa to Eurasia, is now depleted due to over-pumping to support Jordan's growing population. In 1978, the reserve was established as an effort to conserve the oasis. Between 1981 and 1993, water levels decreased concluding with the drying up of the springs in 1992. Azraq today only makes up 0.04% of its former size.
Water levels are maintained by RSCN in order to save indigenous fish species such as the Azraq Killfish and to keep the site a tourist destination. Efforts have been successful. Water pumping and lack of manpower and wetland experience keep water levels at a low. Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is located in the eastern Jordanian desert, close to Azraq Wetland Reserve; the geology comprises desert wadis making up 65% of the area and Hammada areas covered in black flint forming 35% of the reserve. Founded in 1975, Shaumari was founded for the wildlife in the desert area. One of the main goals of the reserve has been to bring back locally extinct species, notably the Arabian oryx, into the wild. In 1978, 4 Arabian oryxs were brought to the reserve for a breeding program. Starting in 1983, 31 oryxs were released into the wild returning the oryx into its native environment. Other species, such as Somali ostriches, Persian gazelles reside in the reserve. Before the establishment of the reserve, hunting nearly annihilated local animal populations, a problem which RSCN has been successful in dealing with.
On July 13, 2011, the Fifa Nature Reserve was declared. It is located in the south-western part of Jordan; the reserve has an area of 23.2 km2. In part lying well below sea level, the reserve contains the salt plant pattern and the tropical plant pattern; the Royal Soci
Israel–Jordan peace treaty
The Israel–Jordan peace treaty or in full "Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan", sometimes referred to as Wadi Araba Treaty, was signed in 1994. The signing ceremony took place at the southern border crossing of Arabah on 26 October 1994. Jordan was the second Arab country, after Egypt; the treaty settled relations between the two countries, adjusted land and water disputes, provided for broad cooperation in tourism and trade. It included a pledge that neither Jordan nor Israel would allow its territory to become a staging ground for military strikes by a third country. In 1987 Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein tried secretly to arrange a peace agreement in which Israel would concede the West Bank to Jordan; the two signed an agreement defining a framework for a Middle Eastern peace conference. The proposal was not consummated due to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's objection; the following year Jordan abandoned its claim to the West Bank in favor of a peaceful resolution between Israel and the PLO.
Discussions began in 1994. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres informed King Hussein that after the Oslo Accords with the PLO, Jordan might be "left out of the big game". Hussein consulted with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Mubarak encouraged him. U. S. President Bill Clinton pressured Hussein to start peace negotiations and to sign a peace treaty with Israel and promised him that Jordan's debts would be forgiven; the efforts succeeded and Jordan signed a nonbelligerency agreement with Israel. Rabin and Clinton signed the Washington Declaration in Washington, DC, on 25 July 1994; the Declaration says that Israel and Jordan ended the official state of enmity and would start negotiations in order to achieve an "end to bloodshed and sorrow" and a just and lasting peace. On 26 October 1994, Jordan and Israel signed the peace treaty in a ceremony held in the Arava valley of Israel, north of Eilat and near the Jordanian border. Prime Minister Rabin and Prime Minister Abdelsalam al-Majali signed the treaty and the President of Israel Ezer Weizman shook hands with King Hussein.
Clinton observed. Thousands of colorful balloons released into the sky ended the event. Egypt welcomed the agreement; the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah resisted the treaty and 20 minutes prior to the ceremony launched mortar and rocket attacks against northern Galilee towns. Israeli residents, who were forced to evacuate the towns for the safety of shelters, took with them transistor radios and mobile TVs in order not to miss the historical moment of signing a second peace treaty with an Arab state; the Peace treaty consists of a preamble, 30 articles, 5 annexes, agreed minutes. It settles issues about territory, water, co-operation on a range of subjects. Annex I concerns borders and sovereignty. Section Annex I establishes an "administrative boundary" between Jordan and the West Bank, occupied by Israel in 1967, without prejudice to the status of that territory. Israel recognises Jordan's sovereignty over the Zofar/Al-Ghamr area. Annex II concerns related matters. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty and Israel agreed to establish a "Joint Water Committee".
Annex III concerns crime and drugs. Annex IV concerns environment. Annex V concerns Border Crossings and visas. Article 6 stipulates that ″Each Party has the right to refuse entry to a person, in accordance with its regulations″; the Agreed Minutes of the treaty give some details about the implementation of the peace treaty. Borders: The international boundary between Israel and Jordan follows the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers, the Dead Sea, the Emek Ha'Arava/Wadi Araba, the Gulf of Aqaba; the section of the line that separated Jordan from the West Bank was stipulated as "without prejudice to the status of territory." Diplomatic relations and co-operation: The Parties agreed to establish full diplomatic and consular relations and to exchange resident embassies, grant tourists visas, open air travel and seaports, establish a free trade zone and an industrial park in the Arava. The agreement prohibits hostile propaganda. Security and defense: Each country promised respect for the sovereignty and territory of each side, to not enter the other's territory without permission, to cooperate against terrorism.
This included thwarting border attacks, preventing any hostile attack against the other and not cooperating with any terrorist organization against the other. Jerusalem: Article 9 links the Peace Treaty to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Israel recognized the special role of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem and committed itself to give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines in negotiations on the permanent status. Water: Israel agreed to give Jordan 50,000,000 cubic metres of water each year and for Jordan to own 75% of the water from the Yarmouk River. Both countries could develop other water resources and reservoirs and agreed to help each other survive droughts. Israel agreed to help Jordan use desalination technology in order to find additional water. Palestinian refugees: Israel and Jordan agreed to cooperate to help the refugees, including a four-way committee to try to work towards
Geography of Jordan
Jordan is situated geographically in Southwest Asia, south of Syria, west of Iraq, northwest of Saudi Arabia and east of Israel and the West Bank. The territory of Jordan now covers about 91,880 square kilometres. Between 1950 and the Six-Day War in 1967, although not recognized, Jordan claimed and administered an additional 5,880 square kilometres encompassing the West Bank. Jordan is landlocked except at its southern extremity, where nearly 26 kilometres of shoreline along the Gulf of Aqaba provide access to the Red Sea. Geographic coordinates: 31°00′N 36°00′E Except for small sections of the borders with Israel and Syria, Jordan's international boundaries do not follow well-defined natural features of the terrain; the country's boundaries were established by various international agreements and with the exception of the border with Israel, none was in dispute in early 1989. Jordan's boundaries with Syria and Saudi Arabia do not have the special significance that the border with Israel does.
In 1965 Jordan and Saudi Arabia concluded an agreement that delimited the boundary. Jordan gained 19 kilometers of land on the Gulf of Aqaba and 6,000 square kilometers of territory in the interior, 7,000 square kilometers of Jordanian-administered, landlocked territory was ceded to Jordan; the new boundary enabled Jordan to expand its port facilities and established a zone in which the two parties agreed to share petroleum revenues if oil were discovered. The agreement protected the pasturage and watering rights of nomadic tribes inside the exchanged territories; the country consists of a plateau between 700 metres and 1,200 metres meters high, divided into ridges by valleys and gorges, a few mountainous areas. West of the plateau, land descents form the East Bank of the Jordan Rift Valley; the valley is part of the north-south Great Rift Valley, its successive depressions are Lake Tiberias, Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba at the Red Sea. Jordan's western border follows the bottom of the rift.
Although an earthquake-prone region, no severe shocks had been recorded for several centuries. By far the greatest part of the East Bank is desert, displaying the land forms and other features associated with great aridity. Most of this land is part of northern Arabian Desert. There are broad expanses of sand and dunes in the south and southeast, together with salt flats. Occasional jumbles of sandstone hills or low mountains support only meager and stunted vegetation that thrives for a short period after the scanty winter rains; these areas are the least populated regions of Jordan. The drainage network is incised. In many areas the relief provides no eventual outlet to the sea, so that sedimentary deposits accumulate in basins where moisture evaporates or is absorbed in the ground. Toward the depression in the western part of the East Bank, the desert rises into the Jordanian Highlands—a steppe country of high cut limestone plateaus with an average elevation of about 900 meters. Occasional summits in this region reach 1,200 meters in the northern part and exceed 1,700 meters in the southern part.
These highlands are an area of long-settled villages. The western edge of this plateau country forms an escarpment along the eastern side of the Jordan River-Dead Sea depression and its continuation south of the Dead Sea. Most of the wadis that provide drainage from the plateau country into the depression carry water only during the short season of winter rains. Incised with deep, canyon-like walls, whether flowing or dry the wadis can be formidable obstacles to travel; the Jordan River is short, but from its mountain headwaters the riverbed drops from an elevation of about 3,000 meters above sea level to more than 400 meters below sea level. Before reaching Jordanian territory the river forms the Sea of Galilee, the surface of, 212 meters below sea level; the Jordan River's principal tributary is the Yarmouk River. Near the junction of the two rivers, the Yarmouk forms the boundary between Israel on the northwest, Syria on the northeast, Jordan on the south; the Zarqa River, the second main tributary of the Jordan River and empties within the East Bank.
A 380-kilometer-long rift valley runs from the Yarmouk River in the north to Al Aqaba in the south. The northern part, from the Yarmouk River to the Dead Sea, is known as the Jordan Valley, it is divided into western parts by the Jordan River. Bordered by a steep escarpment on both the eastern and the western side, the valley reaches a maximum width of twenty-two kilometers at some points; the valley is properly known as Al Ghor. The Rift Valley on the southern side of the Dead Sea is known as the Southern Ghawr and the Wadi al Jayb (p
Mandate for Palestine
The Mandate for Palestine was a "Class A" League of Nations mandate for British rule over the territories of Palestine and Transjordan, both of, conceded by the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Balfour Declaration's "national home for the Jewish people" was to be established in Palestine, a separate Arab Emirate had been established in Transjordan; the mandate was formally in force between 29 September 1923 and 15 May 1948. The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations of 28 June 1919 and of the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers' San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920; the objective of the system of Class A mandates was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone". The approximate northern border with the French Mandate was agreed upon in the Paulet–Newcombe Agreement of 23 December 1920. Transjordan was added to the mandate following a March 1921 conference at which it was agreed that Abdullah bin Hussein would administer the territory under the auspices of the Palestine Mandate.
After the war it had been administered from Damascus by a joint Arab-British military administration, headed by Abdullah's younger brother Faisal, subsequently proclaimed King. Transjordan became a no man's land after the French removed Faisal in the July 1920 Battle of Maysalun; this was given legal form on 21 March 1921 when the British introduced Article 25 into the Palestine Mandate, which included Transjordan within the scope and allowed the Mandatory there "to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions." On 16 September 1922, Article 25 was implemented via the Trans-Jordan memorandum, which established a separate "Administration of Trans-Jordan" for the application of the Mandate, under the general supervision of Great Britain. Transjordan became autonomous under British tutelage according to an agreement of 20 February 1928, independent under a treaty with Britain of 22 March 1946. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisaging the creation of separate Jewish and Arab states operating under economic union with Jerusalem being transferred to UN trusteeship.
Two weeks Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones announced that the British Mandate would terminate on 15 May 1948. On the last day of the Mandate, the creation of the State of Israel was proclaimed, the 1948 Arab–Israeli War began. Following their declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, the British War Cabinet began to consider the future of Palestine, at the time an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. By late 1917, in the lead up to the Balfour Declaration, the wider war had reached a stalemate, with two of Britain's allies not engaged: the United States had yet to suffer a casualty, the Russians were in the midst of a revolution. A stalemate in southern Palestine was broken by the Battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917; the release of the Balfour Declaration was authorised by 31 October. On 2 November 1917, during World War I, the British government issued the Declaration, a public statement announcing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.
The opening words of the declaration represented the first public expression of support for Zionism by a major political power. The term "national home" had no precedent in international law, was intentionally vague as to whether a Jewish state was contemplated; the intended boundaries of Palestine were not specified, the British government confirmed that the words "in Palestine" meant that the Jewish national home was not intended to cover all of Palestine. The second half of the declaration was added to satisfy opponents of the policy, who had claimed that it would otherwise prejudice the position of the local population of Palestine and encourage antisemitism worldwide by "stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands"; the declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, the rights of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine. Controversy remains over a number of areas, such as whether the declaration contradicted earlier promises the British made to the Sharif of Mecca in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence, as well as the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
The mandate system was established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, entered into on 28 June 1919 as the first twenty-six articles of the Treaty of Versailles. The mandates were to act as legal instruments containing the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering certain post-World War I territories on behalf of the League of Nations; these were of the nature of both a treaty and a constitution, which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the rights of petition and adjudication by the International Court. Article 22 was written two months before the signing of the peace treaty, before it was known what communities, peoples, or territories were related to sub-paragraphs 4, 5, 6; the treaty was signed, the peace conference had been adjourned, before a formal decision was made. Two governing principles formed the core of the Mandate System, bei