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Kingdom marks 49th anniversary of Karamah Battle

By JT - Mar 21,2017 - Last updated at Mar 21,2017

AMMAN — Jordan on Tuesday marks the 49th anniversary of the Karamah Battle, in which Jordanian soldiers repelled an Israeli attack on the town of Karamah in the Jordan Valley, whose name means “dignity”.

Eighty-six Jordanian soldiers lost their lives in and 108 were wounded in the battle on March 21, 1968, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The Israeli raid was repelled with heavy losses as the Jordanian army launched an artillery barrage against Israeli tanks.

A total of 250 Israeli soldiers were killed and 450 were wounded, Petra said.

The Jordanian army lost 13 tanks and 39 various vehicles, while Israel had 88 vehicles destroyed and seven fighter planes shot down. 

The battle objective announced by Israel was destroying the garrison of Arab fighters in Karamah, while the real goal of the attack was occupying the eastern highlands of the Jordan Valley in Balqa, 35km northwest of Amman, Petra said, adding that Israel was attempting to be closer to the capital to force the surrender of Jordan and to obtain new land.

In addition to occupying more land, Israel aimed to destroy the Jordanian army and affirm its superiority after winning the 1967 war with Arabs.

In the fifth hour of the battle, Israel requested a ceasefire that was rejected by His Majesty the late King Hussein “as long as a single Israeli soldier is still on the eastern bank of the River Jordan”.

In his speech after the battle ended, King Hussein said that the battle had shown excellent planning and implementation of strategies by the Jordan Armed Forces and the intelligence agencies, which deprived the enemy of the element of  surprise, by predicting the attack.  

His Majesty King Abdullah has said that “the victory of Karamah has stunned the enemy and forced him to confess to defeat for the first time in history”.

After the battle, several senior Western military officers and press outlets expressed admiration for the Jordanian determination and heroism, which led to victory against a superior army, according to Petra. 

 

To mark the occasion, King Abdullah and HRH Crown Prince Hussein on Monday received congratulatory cables from senior military and civil officials, according to a Royal Court statement.  

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