Daily Israel Report

Jordan's PM: We Can't Cut Ties with Israel

Jordan-Israel peace is important for Jordan's security, says PM Abdullah Nsur after demonstrators demand the treaty be annulled.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 3/14/2014, 9:26 PM

Protesters burn an Israeli flag near the Israeli embassy in Amman
Protesters burn an Israeli flag near the Israeli embassy in Amman
Reuters

Jordan’s Prime Minister said on Friday that his country cannot cut its ties with Israel.

According to Kol Yisrael radio, Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur explained that the peace treaty with Israel was important for Jordan’s national security. He further said, according to the report, that the two countries share interests including water issues, borders, the so-called “Palestinian refugees” and Jerusalem.

Nsur’s comments came after around 1,000 people demonstrated on Friday near the Israeli embassy in Amman to protest the killing of a Jordanian judge by Israeli soldiers.

AFP reported that the protesters demanded that the 1994 peace deal between the countries be annulled.

IDF soldiers shot and killed 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, a Palestinian-Jordanian, at the Allenby border crossing on Monday, after he attacked a soldier and tried to grab his weapon.

The shooting sparked the fury of both Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA), with protesters in Amman demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the abrogation of the two countries' 1994 peace treaty.

Opposition Islamists, youth groups, leftists and nationalists took part in the demonstration that started after Friday prayers in Kaluti mosque, near the Israeli embassy in the Rabia neighborhood in West Amman.

Amid tight security, protesters waved Jordanian flags and banners reading "the people want to cancel the (1994) peace treaty," and "shut down the Zionist entity's embassy and kick the ambassador out for the sake of the martyr's blood," reported AFP.

"Zeiter you are a martyr and our rulers are slaves. We will not forget you," demonstrators chanted.

They tried to approach the Israeli embassy, but police prevented them from doing so.

On Wednesday, the lower house of Jordan's parliament, incensed by Zeiter's killing, demanded in a non-binding resolution that the government free Jordanian soldier Ahmad Daqamseh, who was jailed after he opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, killing seven.

Lawmakers have also demanded the government expel the Israeli envoy in Amman and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel.

It gave the government until Tuesday to meet its demands, threatening a no-confidence vote against Nsur if he failed to meet the deadline.

Nsur has held Israel "completely responsible" for Zeiter's death and demanded an apology for the "hideous" killing.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday expressed "regret" over the fatal shooting of the judge.

"Israel regrets the death of Judge Raed Zeiter yesterday (Monday) at the King Hussein (Allenby) bridge and expresses its sympathies to the people and government of Jordan," the statement from Netanyahu's office said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)