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Foreign minister says Netanyahu uses escalation to escape international pressure 

By Heba Elayyan - Apr 21,2024 - Last updated at Apr 21,2024

Ayman Safadi

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has denounced the recent escalation between Iran and Israel, emphasising that such tensions serve the interests of Benjamin Netanyahu rather than the well-being of the region.

Safadi reiterated Jordan’s firm stance against becoming a battleground in the conflict and emphasised the Kingdom’s commitment to safeguarding its airspace.

In an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Safadi highlighted the detrimental impact of the escalation on efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Gaza. He asserted that the increased international pressure on Netanyahu prior to the escalation has now been overshadowed by the focus on the regional tensions.

 “Our message again is to stop this escalation and focus on the real issue, which is ending the massacres and the catastrophe that continue to unfold in Gaza, “ Safadi said.

Safadi warned that the conflict not only jeopardises Jordan and the region but also threatens global stability, potentially drawing the United States into the conflict. 

When asked about Israel’s plans for a broader incursion directly into Rafah, Safadi warned against the catastrophic consequences of such a military operation in an area densely populated with Palestinian civilians. “In Rafah, there are now 1.5 million Palestinians sheltering, compared to the original population of 300,000.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu is challenging the will of the whole international community, and subjecting not only Gaza to a terrible inhumane war, but is also hurting the long interest of his own country, because the amount of dehumanisation, hatred, anger, that this war is generating is just beyond belief,” the Safadi said.

Safadi called for a just and lasting peace that ensures the security and rights of all parties involved. 

In response to a question on the public opinion regarding the escalation, Israel’s impunity and the countries standing, “All of us now are looking bad in the eyes of public opinion in our region and beyond because they see that no matter what we say, we are not being able to stop Israel from continuing with this war.” 

By violating the international and humanitarian law and not following the Security Council’s decision and the whole world call for halting the war, Israel is hurting all of the countries interest and standings in the region and beyond, he continued.

Safadi criticised Iran’s attempts to position itself as a champion of the Palestinian cause, highlighting its delayed response to the Gaza crisis following an attack on its embassy.

Regarding the US veto on a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state, Safadi underscored the importance of the American leadership in advancing peace efforts, reaffirming global support for a two-state solution, despite Netanyahu’s opposition. 

Safadi concluded by warning against Israel’s actions undermining the viability of a two-state solution, including land confiscation, settlement construction and settler violence. He further stressed the urgent need for collective action to achieve lasting peace in the region.

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