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Jordan and a Palestinian settlement

Jan 12,2014 - Last updated at Oct 16,2023

Few details were released after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s 10th meeting with Israelis and Palestinians, held behind closed doors.

This ambiguity has made people and officials in Jordan suspicious.

The absence of any Arab pressure makes a settlement quite risky. With Syria isolated, Iraq fragmented and Egypt politically frozen, Israel may believe this is the perfect moment for a settlement.

Leaked diplomatic sources say that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not object to any of Kerry’s proposal although he is yet to publicly approve it.

Abbas needs Arab support before declaring his approval, because the regional politics dictate that it is not an individual decision of the Palestinian president.

Some Western sources suggested that Abbas asked the US to pressure Arab countries to support his decisions.

The course of regional events has played a major role in shaping Kerry’s proposal, which does not appear to include many of the rights Palestinians have traditionally demanded.

It has been said that the proposal offers very little to the Palestinians and that Kerry’s offer cannot be compared to the Clinton parameters of 2000.

It seems that the Americans acquiesced to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stubbornness regarding the declaration of a Jewish state.

These developments have implications that Jordan needs to deal with.

First and foremost is the issue of security and of the Jordan Valley, as Israel refused to put a time frame on its withdrawal and insisted on linking it to an evaluation of the performance of the Palestinians after the peace deal.

Moreover, the absence of a Palestinian airport or port means that Jordan would continue to be the door into and out of any Palestinian state.

Jordan would likely be inundated with traffic across its Western border.

If these leaks are true, there are serious questions about the US’ capacity to apply its theoretical vision on the ground.

There have been suggestions that the Palestinians were deterred from using UN for a deal.

It has been said that members of the Fateh central committee advised Abbas to resort to the UN to broker a deal with Israel, and the Americans suggested that this would lead to serious political consequences.

If the world appears to think that an end to the Palestinian issue can be put in such an easy way, there could be serious consequences.

The writer,, political analyst and expert in intercultural studies, is lecturer at the University of Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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