Jordan: Nearly Civil War

The fastest-growing force in the Arab world today is that of the fedayeen, meaning "men of sacrifice." An estimated 24,000 strong, they are terrorists in the eyes of the Israelis, but daring commandos to admiring Arabs. Operating mainly from Jordan against Israeli-occupied territory, they are amply supplied with money and arms by sympathetic Arab businessmen, and command immense popular support, particularly among Jordan's 500,000 Palestinian refugees. As they constitute a virtual state-within-a-state, they are also a constant threat to Jordan's King Hussein.

Jordanians have long expected Hussein to crack down on the fedayeen, who stand in the way of any...

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