Jordan Blames Israel for Deaths in Gaza Operation
Jordan's King Abdullah II warned Sunday that Israel will only achieve security for its people through a peace settlement with the Palestinians leading to the establishment of their own state.
Abdullah's remarks came in an interview published by the independent Al-Ghad newspaper, as the death toll from Israeli air strikes on Gaza in response to rocket terror rose and efforts to secure a ceasefire remained elusive.
The Jordanian king called the month-long Gaza conflict "the bloodiest and most devastating in terms of casualties," and blamed Israel for the bloodshed.
"First and foremost, Israel is responsible for the aggression in the (Gaza) Strip," said Abdullah, ignoring Hamas's firing over 3,500 rockets on Israeli civilians.
"Israel's security will not be achieved without a genuine pursuit of comprehensive just peace and the two-state solution," he added. "This is the only way for Israel to guarantee its security and gain the acceptance of the region and the entire world."
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on Gaza on July 8 to stop rocket attacks on millions of innocent civilians, and later expanded it with a ground offensive to destroy a network of attack tunnels.
Immense international pressure has been placed on the Jewish state to stop the offensive, after inflated figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry - which is Hamas-run - have claimed that nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, despite several inconsistencies and Israeli figures noting an unprecedented 1:1 ratio of terrorist to civilian deaths.
Jordan is the only Arab country along with Egypt to be bound by a peace treaty with Israel, and officials have hinted that the treaties of both could be on the line with every decision Israel makes to continue the operation to demilitarize Gaza.