Jordan urged to end treaty with Israel

Jordan's opposition has urged the government to cancel its 10-year-old peace treaty with Israel.

    King Abd Allah is an advocate of the peace treaty's merits

    In a statement on its website on Tuesday, the Islamic Action Front (IAF) called on Jordanians to persuade the government to end "normalisation" with Israel and expel the Israeli ambassador.

     

    Signed on 26 October 1994, the Wadi Araba treaty formally ended the state of war between the two nations that existed since the creation of Israel in 1948.

     

    In signing the treaty with ex-Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussain made Jordan the third Arab nation to declare a formal peace with Israel.

     

    Under the agreement, Israel and Jordan agreed to exchange territory and opened the way for cooperation in trade, tourism, transport links, water resources and environmental protection.


    But the IAF says the treaty gives the "Zionist Entity" legitimacy, and lends credibility to its occupation of Palestinian land, its crimes and its expansionist plans.

    "The conflict between the two sides will not be solved by a treaty," the IAF said.

    'Foreign invaders'

     

    "The solution will only arrive when the foreign invaders [Israelis] leave the area and allow the return of those they forced to leave."


    Khalid Amayreh, Aljazeera.net's correspondent in the West Bank, said the Israelis were the main winners in the deal and the Palestinians the main losers.


    "The conflict between the two sides will not be solved by a treaty.

    The solution will only arrive when the foreign invaders [Israelis] leave the area and allow the return of those they forced to leave"

    Jordan's Islamic Action Front

    "The treaty is widely seen as an arrangement between governments and a few prominent business people on both sides who benefited greatly," he said.


    "It was not a treaty between two peoples because the Jordanian people are fiercely anti-Israeli. It was a culmination of close contacts between the Israelis and the Jordanian monarchy.


    "King Hussain made many secret visits to Israel and it is well documented that he even informed the Israelis that the Arabs were about to attack them before the 1973 Arab Israeli war.

    "So a peace treaty between the two governments was always on the cards."


    Amayreh added that Jordan has not seen any perceptible economic benefits from the peace treaty.


    Economic benefits?

     

    "Jordan is a poorer country now than it was 10 years ago. The middle classes have been decimated, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots has increased."


    However, Jordan and Israel marked the 10th anniversary of their peace treaty on Tuesday with a pledge to the "strategic pact".

     

    Supporters of the treaty say it has vastly improved Israel's and Jordan's security and has bolstered trade and tourism.

     

    Yitzhak Rabin was killed shortly
    after signing the peace treaty

    It has also made Jordan one of the main recipients of US aid in the world.


    "This peace treaty was and still remains a strategic choice for Jordan," former Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Muashir said in a commentary in the Jordan Times alongside one by Israel's ambassador.


    "Jordan will remain committed to the spirit and letter of the treaty which it intends to uphold and consolidate for the mutual benefit of both nations," he said.


     

    But Muashir, who on Saturday was appointed Jordan's deputy prime

    minister, said improved ties depended on the creation of an

    independent Palestinian state.


    Israeli plans

     

    "It is obvious that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict needs to be

    settled for peace to evolve in the Middle East in the hope of a

    more amicable and normal future," he said.

     


    "Jordan's main objective is a two-state solution, leading to the

    emergence of an independent and viable Palestinian state living side

    by side in peace and security with the state of Israel."


    Meanwhile, Ambassador Yacov Hadas said Israel wanted better ties with Jordan, which recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv in September 2000 to protest against Israel's use of excessive force against the Palestinian uprising.


    "

    The foundations of those relations [between Israel and Jordan] are solid, wide and

    genuine"

    Yacov Hadas
    Israel's ambassador to Jordan

    "We understand Jordan's concerns about Israel's disengagement

    plan and the unclear future of the road map [peace plan] as well as

    the possible implications of the security fence being built these

    days," Hadas wrote.


    Jordan fears Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, its

    construction of a barrier across the West Bank, and its failure to

    implement the terms of the road map will backfire on its own security.


    "The solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will not come

    at Jordan's cost," Hadas said.


    "With regard to the potential in our relations, indeed the sky

    is the limit. The foundations of those relations are solid, wide and

    genuine," he said, stressing that Israel's commitment to peace with

    Jordan was "absolute".

      


    But Hadas termed as "regrettable" the repeated calls by

    Jordanian Islamists, trade unions and opposition groups for a

    boycott of Israel.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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