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Relocation of US embassy to Jerusalem jeopardises peace — King

His Majesty orders scaling up Gaza field services as Israel crimes condemned

By JT - May 15,2018 - Last updated at May 15,2018

Palestinians carry a demonstrator injured during confrontations with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the east of Gaza City on Monday (AFP photo by Thomas Coex)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday stressed that Jordan rejects and condemns the blatant acts of aggression and violence perpetrated by Israel against the brotherly Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. 

The King emphasised that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would have serious repercussions on security and stability in the Middle East and will inflame the feelings of Muslims and Christians.

King Abdullah made the remarks during a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, during which they discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian arena, particularly the Israeli escalation in Gaza, in addition to the repercussions of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, a Royal Court statement said.

The King urged the international community to shoulder its moral and legal responsibilities to protect the Palestinian people.

His Majesty also warned of the consequences of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world.

His Majesty also noted that Jerusalem’s issue must be settled within the framework of a final and comprehensive solution in accordance with the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

His Majesty King Abdullah and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to continue coordination and consultation on various issues and current developments.

Earlier in the day, His Majesty King directed the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army to reinforce the capabilities of the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza as more Palestinians are in need for such services due to Israeli aggression. 

Under the directives, Royal Medical Services are tasked to provide the decade-old facility with all the medical supplies and cadres it needs to provide medical care to injured Palestinians as a result of the attacks by Israel, a Royal Court statement said (See separate story).

The field hospital’s staff began to provide services, including major surgeries, in 2009 in order to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers also expressed its strong condemnation of the serious Israeli escalation against the people of Gaza Strip on Monday, which resulted in the death of dozens of Palestinians who were protesting against the opening of the US embassy in occupied Jerusalem and demanding their right to return to their lands, while hundreds more were wounded.

The Cabinet stressed in a statement issued following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hani Mulki that Israel’s use of excessive force against the defenceless Palestinian people who came out in thousands to express their right to return to their homes, constitutes a clear violation of their legal, political and humanitarian rights guaranteed by international laws and norms.

In the same context, the Council of Ministers reasserted Jordan’s position rejecting the US’ decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The Cabinet condemned the measures being taken to enforce this decision, which the Jordanian government considers null and void, on grounds that Jerusalem is an occupied city and such a decision violates the international law and the terms of reference for the Mideast peace process.

Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, has always stressed that Jerusalem’s fate should be decided as part of the final-status negotiations.

As part of the Hashemite custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, the statement said, Jordan will continue to exert political, diplomatic and legal efforts to limit the consequences of the resolution and to affirm the eternal and immortal right of Muslims and Christians in the Holy City.

Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani stressed in a statement that the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and Washington’s recognition of the city as the capital of Israel represent a clear breach to the UN convention and all relevant international legitimacy resolutions, especially Resolution 478. 

Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, highlighted that all UN resolutions stress that East Jerusalem is an occupied land and that the city’s fate is a final status issue.

The minister said that Jordan is still committed to its unaltered stance that rejects the US decision and considers it null and void, adding that the Kingdom, along with most countries, condemns the decision, especially since 128 countries voted against it in the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

He said that East Jerusalem is the capital of the future independent Palestinian state and it is the key to peace.

Momani highlighted the importance of the international community to intensify efforts aimed at reaching a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in line with the relevant international legitimacy resolutions that guarantee the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital within the pre-1967 lines.

Such a solution is important to restore peace and security for Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Holy City and the entire region, he said.

The minister added that the Kingdom would continue exerting all efforts to resume effective international endeavours to reach a solution to this conflict and restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Momani reiterated that Jordan would keep cooperating with the Palestinian National Authority, Arabs and the international community to preserve Jerusalem and its holy shrines and to minimise the negative repercussions of the US’ decision. 

The minister also warned against the unilateral Israeli procedures targeting to change facts on the ground and against the continuous attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque / Al Haram Al Sharif, as well as Israeli attempt to alter the historical and legal status quo of Islamic and Christian sites in the city.  

Also on Monday, Momani strongly condemned the Israeli escalation against Gaza earlier in the day, which resulted in the death of dozens of Gazans and left hundreds wounded, Petra reported.

The minister held Israel, as an occupying force, accountable for the crime it perpetrated in the coastal enclave, and denounced using force against armless Palestinians who demonstrated to express their right of return.

Also on Monday, Senate President Faisal Fayez re-emphasised Jordan’s utmost rejection of relocating the US embassy into Jerusalem, considering the move as contradicting all international resolutions.

Fayez, during a dialogue session organised by the University of Zarqa on “Jordan and the current Arab situation and challenges”, stressed that recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel undermines peace opportunities in the region, according to Petra.

Later in the day, the lawmaker issued a statement expressing shock at the international community’s silence over the crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians, Petra reported.

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh also commented on the developments, stating that the US’ determination to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem heralds a new era of finding a comprehensive, peaceful and political solution to the Palestinian issue which will become more complicated and difficult.

In a statement, cited by Petra, Tarawneh said that US decision, which is synchronised with the 70th anniversary of Nakba (Arab defeat in the 1948 war with Israel and the creation of the latter), suggests that the US administration intends to continue supporting the Israeli occupation on Palestinian soil.

He also warned against any move that would undermine the Hashemite custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, considering the Israeli practices in the city as an attempt to change the historical status quo of the city and Al Aqsa Mosque.

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