Jordan to Oppose PA Statehood Bid
The Hashemite kingdom plans to oppose the Palestinian Authority bid for statehood at the United Nations in September.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/29/2011, 7:15 PM / Last Update: 6/29/2011, 9:33 PM
The Hashemite kingdom will vote against the Palestinian Authority's bid for a unilateral declaration of statehood by the United Nations in September, UAE-based al-Bayan reported Wednesday.
"Jordan's top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders," a senior jordanian official told the paper on condition of anonymity.
The high-ranking official added a unilateral PA declaration of statehood at this time would be in Israel's best interest, as it wants the state to be established "within the borders of the separation fence" – a move that would effectively erase the border between the Jordan and Judea and Samaria, which the kingdom vehemently rejects.
Israel, however, has made it clear it intends to maintain control of the Jordan Valley - and with it the Israeli side of the Jordan river - as a necessary security buffer, leading some observers to suggest Aman is mischaracterizing Israel's stance in order to dilute criticism of looking after its own interests vis-a-vis the PA.
The decision to oppose the PA statehood bid is, according to the official, "the beginning of the exposure of Jordan's decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas".
Jordan is reportedly also preparing to cancel identification papers provided for PA statesmen and their families in conformity to a 1988 decision by Jordan "to disengage from the West Bank and maintain Palestinian identity".
Observers, however, note the decision to cancel the identity cards now underscores the deterioration of relations between the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, also evidenced by the PAs decision to favor Egypt over Jordan as mediator in the recent Hamas-Fatah unity talks.