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Jordan king: If Israel wants a conflict ‘we’re quite prepared’

December 29, 2022 at 11:17 am

Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) arrives to attend the opening of the second term of the Jordanian Parliament in Amman, Jordan on November 13, 2022 [Royal Hashemite Court RHC/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has told CNN that his country is “quite prepared” for a conflict with the new Israeli government if it wants a conflict with Amman.

“If people [Israeli government] want to get into a conflict with us, we’re quite prepared,” King Abdullah told CNN’s Becky Anderson in an exclusive interview conducted earlier this month.

“I always like to believe that, let’s look at the glass half full, but we have certain red lines… And if people want to push those red lines, then we will deal with that.”

The monarch was referencing potential Israeli changes to the status of Muslim and Christian holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Jordan is the custodian of the holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem.

“We have to be concerned about a next intifada,” said the king. “And if that happens, that’s a complete breakdown of law and order and one that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will benefit from.”

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He continued: “I think there is a lot of concern from all of us in the region, including those in Israel that are on our side on this issue, to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Referring to the far-right Members of the Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who are Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu’s partners in the new coalition government, he said: “I don’t think those individuals are under just a Jordanian microscope. They’re under an international microscope. I have to believe that there’s a lot of people in Israel also that are concerned as much as we are.”

“At the end of the day, the Israeli people have the right to pick whoever they want to lead them… We will work with anybody and everybody as long as we can bring people together.”

Stressing the “extreme” importance of Israel’s integration into the region, he warned this is “not going to happen unless there’s a future for the Palestinians.”