Jordan has strongly condemned Israel’s plans to annex settlements in the West Bank, specifically those in the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea region. In an interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel, King Abdullah II stated that any attempt by the Netanyahu government to annex parts of the West Bank would result in “massive conflict” with the Hashemite Kingdom. Reiterating King Abdullah’s criticism of Israeli plans, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that Israel’s annexation of the West Bank would be “catastrophic” and would be met with Jordanian retaliation.
In addition to Jordan, the United Nations and members of the international community, including several countries in the Middle East, have condemned Netanyahu’s plans to annex the West Bank from July 1, 2020. The United States remains silent on the issue, but has voiced that the annexation is solely an Israeli decision. President Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East in fact serves as the foundation for Netanyahu’s plans.
Jordan’s strong response to Netanyahu’s decision stems from the fear that Israel’s annexation will threaten the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland, and will prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state—thereby eliminating the possibility of a two-state solution. According to Jordan and other critics of Netanyahu’s plans, the alternative, one-state solution is not feasible: such an arrangement will only perpetuate the on-going conflict by prolonging the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. In short, a two-state solution is the only path for peace.
Having been host to Palestinians since Israel’s establishment in 1948, Jordan has a responsibility to the Palestinian people, both within and outside its borders. Along with this responsibility, Jordan possesses great diplomatic capacity to influence Israeli actions because it remains one of only two Middle Eastern countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel and also shares borders with the Jewish state. A robust Jordanian response to Israel’s annexation of the West Bank will thus pressure Israel to follow international law and uphold Palestinian human rights.
The ACHRS welcomes Jordan’s condemnation of Israel’s West Bank annexation plans and continues to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This long-standing issue can only be resolved with the full participation of Palestinians in a peace process culminating in the creation of an independent Palestinian state.