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Trump offered West Bank to Jordan's King Abdullah in 2018, says new book

King reported to have said he thought he was 'having a heart attack' after hearing offer
The previously unreported offer to King Abdullah, left, is among several new details about Trump's, right, presidency revealed in the book (AFP)

Former US President Donald Trump offered Jordan's King Abdullah II control over the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2018, a new book due to be published next week has revealed.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the book details how on receiving the offer the king told a friend: “I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t breathe. I was bent doubled-over.”

Jordan ruled the West Bank from 1948 to 1967, when it was captured and illegally occupied by Israeli forces. Around 60 percent of the Jordanian population is of Palestinian descent. 

Jordan's government has always supported Palestinian statehood and any change in that policy would have been momentous and destabilising.

The previously unreported offer comes after the Washington Post obtained a copy of Peter Baker and Susan Glasser's The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021.

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The book says Trump's offer was made in January 2018 and is among several new details about his presidency revealed by Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Glasser, staff writer for the New Yorker.

'You're gonna have a fucking war'

On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper, which also obtained a copy of the book, said it details how in December 2020, Trump told friends he was afraid Iran would try to assassinate him in revenge for the death of Qassem Soleimani, the influential Iranian general killed in a US drone strike nearly a year before.

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The authors wrote: “At a cocktail party, Trump told several of his Florida friends he was afraid Iran would try to assassinate him, so he had to go back to Washington where he would be safer.”

In July, another excerpt from the book recounted a meeting in Jerusalem in late 2020, in which US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, told then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "back off" Trump and stop calling for the former president to attack Iran.

"Among those pushing the president to hit Iran before Biden’s inauguration, Milley believed, was the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu," read the excerpt published in the New Yorker.

"On 18 December, the same day that Trump met with [former adviser Michael] Flynn to discuss instituting martial law, Milley met with Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem to personally urge him to back off with Trump.

“If you do this, you’re gonna have a fucking war,” Milley told him.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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