King Hussein on Saturday dissolved the lower house of Parliament, half of whose 60 members come from the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan River, in a move linked to the Palestinian uprising.
The monarch's action had been expected after the announcement Thursday that Jordan planned to step aside to give the Palestine Liberation Organization a greater voice in the affairs of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.Jordanian officials said all Jordanian-Palestinian institutions in the West Bank were under review. The PLO wants a greater role in the occupied territories where Palestinians have been rioting against Israeli control since December.
Also Thursday, Hussein canceled a five-year, $1.3-billion development plan for educational and economic projects in the West Bank and Gaza strip.
The king signed a decree dissolving the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, and announced he will address the country Sunday night to outline his new policies.
In Jerusalem, a Foreign Ministry official called the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies a "peripheral" move that leaves most Jordanian-West Bank ties intact. He said it would have no immediate impact on Israeli policy.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "There are other things that really bind Hussein to the territories, and if he doesn't take these steps he isn't really cutting himself off." He said other links included Jordan's funding of West Bank teachers.