War and Containment
Jordan's leaders considered Egypt an irresponsible ally in their intervention in Palestine. They found particularly reprehensible the refusal of Cairo to renew the first ceasefire, which expired in early July 1948. Britain, the United States, and the United Nations Security Council had all strongly urged the belligerents to prolong the truce; and Israel agreed to an extension. Thus, the Egyptian refusal both tested the goodwill of the Great Powers and ushered in a disastrous round of fighting. At the decisive meeting of the Arab League, Amman argued against resuming the war, pointing out that the Arab side was weaker than the Israelis and low on ammunition. Cairo, however, argued on the basis of unassailable nationalist principles that the battle must be resumed. In response to the Jordanian complaints regarding the weakness of the coalition and the lack of supplies, the proponents of war explained that, in light of their deficiencies, the Arab armies would simply have to remain on the defensive. The Jordanian prime minister, Tawfiq Abu'l-Huda, felt powerless to defy his allies.
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