Jordan: PA's September Plan Will Hurt 'Refugees'
While the impression among many Israelis is that the Arab world supports the Palestinian Authority's plan to declare an independent Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and seek UN recognition of it, the truth is that numerous Arab countries oppose it. And the most vocal Arab country opposing the PA's “September plan” has been Jordan, which even threatened to vote against approving the PA state when the UN General Assembly votes on the matter.
A report Tuesday in a Saudi paper said Jordan reiterated its opposition to the plan, and that Jordan's King Abdullah II has communicated his stance to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas several times – to no avail, as Abbas continues to ignore Abdullah's stance on the matter, much to the latter's frustration, the report said.
Jordan contends that if the UN approves the establishment of a PA state before negotiations with Israel are complete, the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel when the state was established in 1948 will lose any chance they have to return to their family's previous homes, or receive compensation.
“The refugees are the only ones who will suffer,” Abdullah stressed to Abbas in a recent message, conveyed through diplomats of another Arab country.
Israel will refuse to negotiate on their status, claiming the PA broke the Oslo agreements, and that Israel is not under any obligation to negotiate the issue any further with the PA, Abdullah was quoted as teling Abbas in the report.
“The refugee issue is the most important one, and they will lose all their rights if the PA declares a state,” Abdullah reportedly said in the message.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that Jordan was not the only Arab country opposed to the PA's plan. “In the coming weeks I am sure we will hear about other leaders criticizing the PA,” he said. “The only way to move forward is for both sides to return to the negotiating table.”
Approximately two thirds of Jordan's population is Palestinians, outnumbering the Bedouin who make up the rest of the country and the Hashemite ruling family. The Palestinians attempted to take over Jordan in 1970, in what is known as Black September, but the monarchy dealt with them with an iron hand.
There are many voices that call for the Palestinian State to be the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which may be the reason Abdullah is afraid to lose the opportunity to rid Jordan of restless Palestinian "refugees" who might decide to overthrow him.