Jordan's foreign minister says lack of peace deal worsens 'apartheid' in Palestine

Kingdom played a role in ending Gaza violence this month

A cat walks over the rubble of a destroyed house in Gaza city. EPA
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Lack of progress on a two state-solution deepens “apartheid” in Palestine, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi said on Tuesday, in the first official comment on the conflict since violence in Gaza this month.

The kingdom played a role in an Egyptian-brokered truce on August 7 that halted a three-day conflict between Israel and Iranian-backed Islamic militants in Gaza. At least 44 Palestinians were killed in the violence.

“There is no other solutions to this struggle,” Mr Al Safadi said after meeting Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani in Amman.

“If the two-state solution is not achieved we are headed toward the condition of one state, which will reinforce apartheid.”

He described any other proposition to end the conflict as “useless theorising”.

Relations between Israel and Jordan deteriorated after the 11-day war in May last year between Israel and militant groups in Gaza supported by Iran. Bilateral ties improved this year, with Jordan and Israel agreeing recently to resume construction on a joint industrial zone.

Jordanian officials view the conflict in Palestine as intertwined with politics in the kingdom, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, based on a two-state solution, were halted eight years ago as Israel expanded settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Jordanian officials have for decades expressed concern that Israeli actions could drive more Palestinians to flee to Jordan after two waves of refugees, who fled when Israel was created in 1948, and again during the 1967 war.

Updated: August 16, 2022, 1:48 PM