The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza has met a representative of the Jordanian Army Chief of Staff. The delegation which met Ismail Haniyeh was headed by Major General Mahmoud Forayhat, the head of military operations in Jordan.
Mr. Haniyeh told his Jordanian visitors that the Palestinian cabinet in Gaza "cannot accept what is claimed to be the Palestinians' alternative homeland" by Israelis wanting to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by "transferring" the population across the River Jordan. "There can be no solution for the Palestine question at the expense of Jordan or Jordanian territory under any circumstances," he added.
In praising the efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom, Mr. Haniyeh said that they were appreciated by every Palestinian. He went on to emphasise the significance of Jordan's position in the current political situation, and called upon King Abdullah II and the heads of all Arab states to curb any Israeli escalation. "The role of His Majesty the King is important in preventing any escalation that the Israeli occupation authorities can think of."
The visit of the delegation to Gaza coincided with the second anniversary of Israel's brutal war on Gaza in 2008/9. "The repercussions of that war are ongoing," said Mr. Haniyeh, "especially the homes that were destroyed and damaged and have not been rebuilt." As an ally of the Palestinians, he added, this requires Jordan to pay special attention to the issue of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and to search for suitable means to reach this end.
In response, Major General Forayhat hailed the Prime Minister's stance against the suggestion of an "alternative homeland", and explained that this is shared by the Kingdom. He also praised the resolve of the Palestinian people during and since the Gaza war.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad