Today: April 22, 2024
Today: April 22, 2024

Jordan's top diplomat wants to align Europeans behind a call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza

Share This
LA Post: Jordan's top diplomat wants to align Europeans behind a call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza
November 26, 2023

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Sunday he hopes a meeting of Mediterranean officials will help bridge a gap between Arab and European countries in calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to become a permanent cease-fire.

The fragile pause in hostilities between Israel and the Hamas militant group continued Sunday with a third straight day of hostages and Palestinian prisoners released. It was originally scheduled for four days and neither side has made fully clear what comes after Monday.

Safadi said the truce was holding up but that more effort was needed to reach at least 200 daily trucks bringing aid into the Gaza Strip, and for the pause in the fighting “to immediately develop into a permanent cease-fire.”

The minister spoke to The Associated Press on the eve of Monday’s Union for the Mediterranean gathering that will bring to Barcelona in northern Spain 42 delegations from Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, many of them represented by their foreign ministers.

Israel is not attending the meeting, which in past years has largely become a forum for cooperation between the European Union and the Arab world. But the meeting has taken on new significance since the Oct. 7 militant attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing war with Hamas.

Jordan, a key Western ally, signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1994. The countries maintain covert security relations and some business ties, but relations have cooled over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Safadi noted that while Arab nations have demanded the end of what he called Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza, most European nations have not gone that far, instead calling for a “humanitarian pause.”

“We need to bridge the gap,” Safadi said, adding that the war “is producing nothing.”

“What is this war achieving other than killing people, destroying their livelihoods, and again, creating an environment of hate and dehumanization that will define generations and will take us a very, very long time to navigate through toward the future that we want,” he said.

Asked about the future of Gaza, the Jordanian minister said Gaza “must be part of a comprehensive plan to settle this conflict once and for all,” although he refused to outline what that future will look like or which party should be in charge of the territory.

Instead, he said that “all manifestations of the reoccupation of Gaza should end, accusing Israel of “acting on the fallacy that it can parachute over the Palestinian issue and have peace, the regional peace, without solving the Palestinian problem.”

“The root cause of the conflict is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," he said. "We have a conflict because we have an occupation that Israel has been consolidating. Israel has killed hope for peace, has killed prospects for peace.”

Jordan, which borders the West Bank and is home to a large Palestinian population, has rejected suggestions that it take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza.

Although some foreign passport holders and some of their relatives have been allowed to leave the territory, most of the more than 2.3 million Gaza residents have remained trapped amid the constant shelling and facing a shortage of food, water and basic needs.

Safadi said Jordan would not accept the possibility of Palestinians leaving Gaza, even if it was for their safety, given the long history of displacement and the idea that a new exodus would play into to Israel’s interest.

“We believe that displacement is something that will further empty Palestine from its people,” the minister said. “We in Jordan said that’s a red line because we see it as a threat to our national security and will do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening.”


Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya pulled away late to win the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday and cement her status as the favorite to defend her gold in Paris

15 people suffer minor injuries in tram accident at Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles

A tram accident at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in Los Angeles has injured 15 people

Ryan Garcia knocks Devin Haney down 3 times and hands his amateur rival his first pro loss

Ryan Garcia knocked Devin Haney down three times and handed the WBC super lightweight champion his first loss, winning the fight by majority decision but not the title because he was over the weight limit

Things to know about the NBA playoffs, which start Saturday

The Boston Celtics had almost no trouble at all with the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs this season, going 35-4 against those squads


Mary J. Blige, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne, A Tribe Called Quest and Foreigner get into Rock Hall

Tesla cuts the price of its "Full Self Driving" system by a third to $8,000

'Great bravery and resolve.' Reaction to the death of Terry Anderson, AP reporter held hostage

Terry Anderson, US journalist held hostage in Lebanon, dead at 76

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer