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Stung by outcry over Israel ties, Jordan’s King says occupation of Palestine must end

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks during the opening of the second term of the Jordanian parliament in Amman, Jordan, on November 13, 2022. (Photo by Royal Hashemite Court RHC)

Bowing to public pressure, Jordan’s King Abdullah II says that the solution to the Palestinian issue starts with ending the decades-long Israeli occupation, despite Amman's covert attempts to pursue normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

Addressing the parliament during the opening of a new legislative year, King Abdullah said the Palestinian cause “can only be resolved by reaching a just and comprehensive solution that begins with ending the Israeli occupation.”

He underscored that Jordan will continue to safeguard al-Quds’ Islamic and Christian holy sites, under Hashemite Custodianship.

Since 1924, the Hashemite ruling family of Jordan had been the sole caretakers of the holy sites of both Muslims and Christians, in Eastern al-Quds, including the al-Aqsa mosque.

“The absence of a horizon for a political solution must not prevent us from supporting our Palestinian brothers and sisters economically, bolstering their steadfastness on their land, and helping them uphold their legitimate rights,” he said.

It comes after the election victory of the far-right Israeli coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party. Right after the extremist coalition’s victory, Jordan warned that relations with the Israeli occupation entity will deteriorate if the al-Aqsa Mosque’s status quo is affected.

Jordan’s stances on the Palestinian cause seem shaky. On the one hand, it calls for the demolition of the Israeli regime, and on the other hand, it seeks cooperation and normalization with the Israeli apartheid regime.

Analysts say this is due to its geographic proximity and the fact that at least half of the Jordanian population is of Palestinian descent. Amman is also seeking its own interests in different projects in cooperation with the Israeli regime across the region.

In November 2021, Jordan signed a “declaration of intent” with the Israeli regime to enter into a negotiating process to discuss the feasibility of a joint energy and water project.

Also, last year in July, Israeli media leaked news on a secret meeting between King Abdallah and then-Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, infuriating Amman, which wished for the meeting to remain undisclosed to the public.

A few months ago, Israeli Walla news expressed the Israeli regime’s discontent with Amman, saying that Jordan is playing a kind of double game. “They speak against us with unbearable and unacceptable intensity and then explain to everyone behind closed doors that this is their way of calming demands to sever relations with us.”

Also, analysts say that Palestine-Jordan relations have largely been driven by one looming fear, namely that Israel attempts to turn Jordan into “the alternative homeland for Palestinians.”

At the time the monarch continues seeking cooperation with the Israeli regime, the people of Jordan have on multiple times protested what they called “a forced normalization on the population.”

In April, 76 Jordanian MPs called for severing ties with the Israeli occupation and suspending all bilateral agreements between Amman and the Israeli regime in light of the ongoing attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque in occupied al-Quds.

In an interview on Russia Today TV last month, Jordanian parliament speaker Abdul Karim Deghmi said most Jordanians reject normalization with Israel despite the peace agreement between them.

He said the Jordanian people believe that the Israeli regime cannot be trusted with any agreements.

“It is clear that they do not want to give the Palestinians a state. It is clear that they reject the two-state solution. Therefore, all the Arabs, not just the Jordanians, do not trust them,” Deghmi said.

Earlier last month, the head of the Reform Bloc in the Jordanian Parliament, Saleh Al-Armouti, also rejected Arab normalization with the Israeli regime, which he said has encouraged the regime’s aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Speaking to Felesteen newspaper, Al-Armouti stated that the security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupation has encouraged the Israeli occupation's aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity," he accused, adding: "They violate all the signed peace agreements that Israel has already ignored."

The Jordanian MP urged Palestinians to reactivate armed resistance, saying Jerusalem “will not be liberated except by resistance."

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