Fighters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Jordan, early 1969. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Black September Massacre was a string of events that took place in the 1970s. The Jordanian army under the instruction of King Hussein killed thousands of Palestinian militants and civillians. Black September was the culmination of a long period of tension between the Jordanian Government and PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization). The PLO was formed in 1964 to voice out the interest of the Palestinian people and was based in Jordan, the group consisted entirely of Palestinian refugees who were given refugee status in Jordan after the 6-day war of the long-standing Arab-Israeli conflict which continues to this date. In the following years after its establishment in 1968, the PLO became a vocal voice in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories after the 6-day war and even went as far as picking up arms and targeting Israel while operating out of Jordan as a refugee organization. King Hussein was increasingly worried about the growing power of the PLO as they started challenging the Government of Jordan and started to control parts of Jordanian territories where they committed horrible atrocities, in 1970 King Hussein ordered the Jordanian Army to surround the Palestinian Refugee camps where members of the PLO and its leadership used to operate out of and ordered them to open fire killing thousands of civillians and militants, this event is known as Black September. This event lasted for 10 days resulting in the death of 25,000-30,000 Palestinian refugees and militants and the destruction of many Palestinian refugee camps. The general aftermath of Black September led to distrust between the Palestinian people and the Jordanian Government, and the PLO was much weaker because in the planned massacre many of its fighters and its top leadership were killed. Another surprising thing to note is the involvement of the Pakistani Army in Black September, many young officers from the Pakistani Army were called to Jordan to train the Jordanian Army to carry out the cleansing operation of Palestinian militants cum refugees.
This Event could have been entirely avoided if not for the general lack of concern for the Refugees who were actually marginalized and displaced from their home due to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, Jordan gave them food, shelter, schools, and Hospitals but what did they get in return militancy, looting, and terrorism
Impact of Black September
Black September had a profound impact on the Palestinian cause of wiping out Israel and reclaiming their homeland but this extremist view is the reason why to this date the Arab-Israeli conflict is still going on, even though Palestinian people have lost their trust in the Jordanian Government Jordan continues to support the Palestinian Authority (Govt. of Palestine) and provide aid to Palestine. Black September was a dark chapter in Jordan’s history but since then Jordan has taken many steps to significantly repair their relationship with Palestine unless the people of Plaestine disown and condemn terrorism and become a vocal advocate for peace and co-existence with Israel Palestine’s relationship with many Arab Countries is going to have zero impact and ultimately will be a lost cause with an nefarious agenda to deny the right to existence for Israel and its citizens.
To prevent further massacres commited by any side Palestine and Israel should resume peace talks and work on a 2 state solution, moreover, the people of Palestine as mentioned above should vocally condemn terrorists and disown any organization that advocates the use of arms against Israel to achieve statehood, picking up arms is not going to help Palestines, diplomacy, and dialogue will help the Palestine cause, increasingly the Arab nations are tired of this conflict and wish to normalize their relation with Israel as seen with the Saudi Arabia and Israel talks to normalize their diplomatic relations and focus more on trade and cooperation, the Arab nations are also realizing that the Palestine cause in the recent times is being weaponized by outside forces such as Iran to keep them busy while Iran can focus on Nuclearization
Hence it is evident that the current stance of Palestine is not going to help them Dialogue and diplomacy will.