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Displacement of Palestinians a fundamental violation of peace treaty — Khasawneh

By JT - Nov 27,2023 - Last updated at Nov 27,2023

Bisher Khasawneh

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said on Sunday that the displacement of Palestinians is a "red line" for Jordan, and constitutes a fundamental violation of the peace treaty.

The displacement of Palestinians would be a violation to one of the peace treaty’s key and central provisions that emphasises the need to defend against any forced population movements in any direction, which would serve as a liquidation of the Palestinian issue and a threat to Jordan's national security, Khasawneh said on Al Mamlaka TV.

Jordan does not currently see the matter as an immediate threat, he stressed, underscoring, however, that if it were to happen, the treaty would become "a set of papers stacked on a shelf covered in dust, undoubtedly leading us back to a state of non-peace”, noting that a state of non-peace is a declaration of war and hostile acts.

He indicated that Jordan supports the Egyptian stance rejecting the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, which could set a precedent for forced displacement in other directions, including in the West Bank.

Khasawneh underlined Jordan's insistence from the first day of the war on Gaza on the need to reach a stage that establishes a permanent cessation of hostilities.

He pointed out that His Majesty King Abdullah, over the past ten years, has warned that neglecting the achievement of the two-state solution, in which the independent and sovereign Palestinian state would be established along the lines of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, would lead the region as a whole into a spiral of violence.

The Premier said that King Abdullah has instructed the dispatch of a field hospital to the West Bank city of Nablus due to the shortage in medical supplies provided by the Palestinian Authority, especially after directing most of its resources to Gaza.

Khasawneh emphasised that Jordan regards any efforts to alter the legal and historical status quo in Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and the Islamic and Christian holy sites as a “red line”, noting that crossing this line will result in consequences that will be treated with utmost seriousness. He stated that Jordan’s position on this matter is well-known to both the Israelis and the international community.

Khasawneh also mentioned during the interview that Jordan is exploring options to secure alternatives in the event that the supply of liquefied natural gas from Israel is halted.

Khasawneh said that the annulling the gas agreement with Israel is “not on the table”, indicating that Jordan respects its contractual obligations. He noted that the agreement is signed between US Company Nobel and National Electric Power Company.

He stated that Jordan has reached out to two Arab countries to explore the possibility of obtaining gas in case there is an interruption in the supply from Israel.

Khasawneh said that “Jordan is contemplating all possible scenarios in light of the ongoing aggression on Gaza”. 

There are available alternatives that have higher cost, he said, noting that if Jordan opts for importing liquefied natural gas, the cost will be JD45 million per month, while converting to diesel fuel will incur an addition JD115 million per month.

Khasawneh pointed out that there is currently no indication of a halt in gas supplies, adding that Jordan maintains a gas reserve sufficient to meet the Kingdom’s electricity needs for 65 days.

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