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Netanyahu: Israel will support Jordan in the face of ISIS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community yesterday to support Jordan in the fight against “Islamic extremism”, and to back the independence of Iraq’s Kurds, AFP reported.

Speaking in a speech to the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel-Aviv, he said: “We need to support efforts by the international community to strengthen Jordan and support the aspirations of the Kurds for independence.

“I think it is our common interest to make sure that a moderate, stable regime like (Jordan) is able to defend itself.”

Israel fears that ISIS may extend their control to areas of Jordan after seizing parts of Iraq in recent weeks.

Former director of the Israeli National Security Council Yaakov Amidror warned against ISIS moving into Jordan and posing a threat to Israel, adding that if Jordan requested Israeli assistance to protect its borders with Iraq, Israel would have little choice but to help.

Netanyahu voiced concern over “the powerful wave triggered by ISIS, which could reach Jordan in a very short time.” He said: “We must be able to stop the terrorism and fundamentalism that can reach us from the east at the Jordan line and not in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.”

He said the ongoing conflict in Iraq justifies his refusal to allow Palestinian forces to be deployed in the Jordan Valley. “In any future agreement with the Palestinians, Israel must maintain security control along the lands on the Jordanian borders,” he said. “It is impossible to depend on Palestinian forces.”

Netanyahu hinted to the security plan which was previously offered by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and was refused by him. Based on the plan, Palestinian police trained by Western experts would be deployed in the Jordan Valley, which includes the borders with Jordan.

It also included the installation of electronic monitoring equipment managed by Israel in case a peace deal was reached.

The reason Israel should support Jordan, Netanyahu said, is because, “Jordan is a stable, moderate country with a strong army that can defend itself, and it is especially due to this that these international efforts are worthy of supporting it.”

Regarding the plight of the Kurds, he said: “They have proven political commitment and political moderation but they are also worthy of their own political independence.”

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported today that Netanyahu had called for the quick and expedient construction of a massive border fence along Israel’s eastern border with Jordan. Sources said there are financial problems facing the plan.

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