Jordan’s Abdullah II Said Refusing Calls from Netanyahu
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports that Abdullah II, king of Jordan, is refusing to accept phone calls from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the latter’s declared intent to begin annexing parts of the West Bank. Abdullah has not minced words since talk of annexation came up in the wake of a peace plan presented by the Trump Administration, saying it could lead to a “massive conflict” between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom. Relations between the two countries have been tense over numerous issues, ranging from a guard at the Israeli Embassy in Amman who was welcomed home a hero after shooting two people dead during an off-duty scuffle, to Israeli security measures in Jerusalem. The two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994. One annex of the peace treaty stipulates that the ruler of Jordan is considered the overseer of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, which was captured from Jordan during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Last Friday, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States took the unusual step of writing an opinion piece in Israel’s top-selling newspaper saying that annexation risked endangering a thaw in ties between Israel and several Gulf states.