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70 years ‘occupation, death, and destruction’ - no peace possible without Palestinian state, says Jordanian King

Abdullah II met with US President Biden in the White House, calls for ceasefire

Jordanian King Abdullah II speaking at a press conference with US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, Feb. 12, 2024 (Photo: Royal Hashemite Court)

Jordanian King Abdullah II called for an immediate ceasefire in the war in Gaza and for creating a horizon for the establishment of a Palestinian state during a press conference on Tuesday, together with U.S. President Joe Biden.

In some of his most inflammatory comments since the start of the war, King Abdullah stated: “Seven decades of occupation, death, and destruction have proven beyond any doubt that there can be no peace without a political horizon.”

Unlike the king’s previously strong support for a two-state solution and accompanying critiques of Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank since 1967, “seven decades of occupation” seemingly calls into question the very existence of the State of Israel, which celebrated its 75th-anniversary last year.

Among the topics discussed by the leaders in an earlier meeting were the war in Gaza and humanitarian efforts, with Biden thanking the Jordanian king for his “critical leadership and partnership” in the facilitation of “the increased, sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

Regarding the Gaza war, Abdullah stated, “All attacks against innocent civilians, women and children, including those of October 7, cannot be accepted by any Muslim. As I have previously stressed, we must make sure the horrors of the past few months since October 7, are never repeated, nor accepted by any human being.”

“We must together, along with Arab partners and the international community, step up efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and immediately start working to create a political horizon that leads to a just and comprehensive peace,” the Jordanian leader continued, adding, “This is the only solution that will guarantee peace and security for the Palestinians and the Israelis as well as the entire region.”

The king reiterated calls for Israel not to advance into the town of Rafah, reportedly the last area in the Gaza Strip to remain under full Hamas control. At the same time, the town serves as a refuge to some 1 million people who have fled there since the IDF's ground operations began.

“We need a lasting ceasefire now,” King Abdullah said. “We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah. It is certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe. The situation is already unbearable for over a million people who have been pushed into Rafah since the war started.”

Biden and officials in his administration have exerted significant pressure on Israel to refrain from undertaking any operation in Rafah without careful planning.

“This war must end. We must urgently and immediately work to ensure the sustainable delivery of sufficient aid to Gaza through all possible entry points and mechanisms," said the Jordanian King.

Abdullah and Biden also discussed the status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem and the implications regarding stability for the broader Middle East region.

“Continued escalations by extremist settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem’s holy sites and the expansion of illegal settlements will unleash chaos on the entire region,” King Abdullah said.

“The vast majority of Muslim worshippers are not being allowed to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque. Christian churches have also voiced concerns about increasing and unprecedented restrictions and threats,” he added.

Israeli security services have limited guest entry to the Temple Mount since the start of the war to prevent violent incidents that could further inflame the population in Judea and Samaria.

Abdullah’s visit to Washington D.C. was the first stop in a tour that will take him to the capitals of Canada, France and Germany.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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