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Ending occupation the only way to achieve peace — Safadi

By JT - Apr 12,2023 - Last updated at Apr 12,2023

Ayman Safadi

AMMAN — Jordan has always stood by the Palestinians and will continue to do so, exerting every effort and taking all necessary steps to support them and halt the Israeli practices that deprive them of their right to freedom, statehood and sovereignty, and prevent them from freely practising their religious rituals in accordance with international law, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Wednesday.

Safadi delivered a speech on the matter during a parliamentary oversight session, following remarks from the heads of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Palestine committees, MPs Khaldoun Hina and Faisal Basbous, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 

"I don't need to clarify Jordan's position. We are all united in our stance regarding Palestine, Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites,” the foreign minister said.

Commenting on MP Basbous ' remarks, Safadi said: "Jordanian diplomacy realises the danger posed by Israel's actions, not only in relation to Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, but also in terms of expanding settlements, demolishing homes, displacing Palestinians and killing any hope to achieve a just and comprehensive peace, which can only be realised if Jerusalem is liberated as the capital of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil, in accordance with the 1967 borders."

"Jordanian diplomacy has worked, and continues to work, not just as a reaction to the Israeli actions and attacks on Al Aqsa we have witnessed, but continuously, because we firmly believe that unless the Palestinians achieve their full rights, the region will never enjoy peace,” Safadi said.

"Occupation is the basis of evil, and ending this occupation is the only way to achieve peace. When we talk about de-escalation and a ceasefire, we are not talking about them as a final goal, but rather as a step towards progress in achieving a solution that fully restores the legitimate rights of the Palestinians," he said.

Safadi emphasised that the Kingdom is utilising all of its resources to support the Palestinians, he said, stressing that Jordan's “words are heard and actions are effective”.

 Jordan's efforts to expose the Israeli authorities' violations and attacks against Palestinians and the region as a whole are well-known, he said.

"Jordan has been making intensive efforts, both before and during the holy month of Ramadan, to put an end to Israel's actions,” he added.

Jordan is now dealing with the conflict through a political approach, unlike when there was military conflict, as in the past, when Jordanians were martyred across Palestine, Safadi noted.

When the approach became political, as per a Palestinian-Arab decision, Jordan worked for the interests of the Palestinians to secure their rights, Safadi added, stressing that Jordan has never stopped supporting Palestinians' rights, because fulfilling the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of their independent, sovereign state is of national interest to Jordan.

 The ministry had not stopped its efforts to mobilise support, Safadi said, highlighting the country’s contact with the international community as a whole, and referring to the convening of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Security Council at Jordan's invitation as part of efforts to confront the violations at Al Aqsa Mosque.

"Our message is clear. We will not accept anything less than respect for the historical and legal status quo at the holy sites. Peace will not be achieved until the occupation ends. Also, all Israeli actions that undermine the two-state solution and prevent a comprehensive and fair peace must stop," Safadi emphasised.

Highlighting Jordan's efforts towards the Palestinian cause, Safadi said: "In Japan, the Palestinian cause took precedence over all other issues discussed between His Majesty King Abdullah and Japanese officials. His Majesty spoke about Palestine before he spoke about Jordan," Safadi said.

In response to speeches from the heads of the Foreign Affairs and Palestine Committees, Safadi said: "We are facing an occupation. It is not required of the Hashemite Custodianship and the Awqaf administration in Jerusalem to end the occupation. All non-Israeli institutions in occupied Palestine face challenges, and the Awqaf is fulfilling its role to the fullest extent possible in confronting the occupation. What can 50 guards, out of 156 guards who work in shifts around the clock, do to confront Israeli forces when they storm Al Aqsa Mosque?"

If not for the presence of the Jordanian Awqaf department in Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites, as well as the Hashemite Custodianship, Israel would have imposed its full sovereignty over these holy places, undermining the Arab Islamic and Christian identity of these holy sites, Safadi noted. 

Jordan has managed to rally strong international support to deter and curb the Israeli forces' attacks on worshipers through its own efforts and in cooperation with other countries, he said.

Regarding the issue of expelling the Israeli ambassador from Jordan and recalling the Jordanian ambassador, Safadi stated that the Kingdom will not hesitate to take any steps that it believes will serve the Palestinians.

The international community’s focus should be turned towards stopping Israel’s unilateral actions and attacks, rather than Jordan’s decision to expel the Israeli ambassador, or recall its ambassador.

Jordan's positions are steadfast and its actions are crystal clear, and its efforts are evident to all who wish to see them, Safadi reiterated. Jordan will continue to exert every possible effort to achieve its goal, which is to fully liberate the Palestinian people in their independent state, with its capital in Jerusalem, on June 4, 1967 lines.

Jordan alone cannot change the international equation now, as there are balances of power and multiple political changes that have occurred both in the region, and around the world, Safadi said.

“We cannot ask Jordan for more than its capacity. Jordan is doing everything it can, with the guidance and direct follow-up of His Majesty, and will continue to do everything possible to support the Palestinians," the foreign minister added.

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