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Foreign Ministry clarifies flag treading incident after Israeli protest

By JT - Dec 30,2018 - Last updated at Dec 30,2018

AMMAN — Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates spokesperson, Majed Qatarneh, on Sunday said that the Israeli embassy in Amman contacted the Foreign Ministry and asked for clarification over a photo showing Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat stepping on the Israeli flag. 

Ghunaimat on Thursday walked over an Israeli flag painted on the floor of the headquarters of the Professional Associations in Amman to attend an official meeting between Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and union representatives.

Qatarneh added that the Israeli foreign ministry also summoned the Chargé d’Affaires at the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv Muhammad Hamid over the issue, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Qatarneh explained that the Israeli side was informed that the building was private property and that the minister made her way into the building through the main entrance to attend an official meeting, stressing the government’s respect for the peace treaty with Israel. 

He further added that the ministry is dealing with the issue through diplomatic channels and in accordance with the rules applicable in such cases, the statement said.

The image of the flag has been affixed to the floor, which is just inside the entrance to the complex, for several years, to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and Jordan’s normalised ties with Tel Aviv, union officials say, according to AFP. 

Israel’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Sunday deploring the flag “desecration”, and said it had summoned Hamid for a “reprimand” and that the Israeli embassy in Amman had also issued a “sharp protest”.

“The foreign affairs ministry considers the incident in which a Jordanian minister insulted the Israeli flag in Amman as serious,” the statement said.

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