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Jordan Parliament approves proposal to expel Israel envoy amid tension

March 22, 2023 at 2:54 pm

People holding banners and Israeli flags gather to protest Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich [Celal Güneş/Anadolu Agency]

The Jordanian Parliament, on Wednesday, approved a proposal to expel the Israeli Ambassador, amid tension over statements by Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, in which he denied the existence of the Palestinian people, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a speech in Paris on Sunday, Smotrich denied the existence of the Palestinian people, saying the Palestinians were “an invention” from the last century, and that people like himself and his grandparents were the “real Palestinians.”

READ:  Smotrich remarks ‘wrong, disrespectful, dangerous, counterproductive’

He also used a map of Israel during the speech, which included sovereign Jordanian and Palestinian territory.

In a statement, Parliament Speaker, Ahmad Al-Safadi, called on the government “to take effective measures” over the use of a map of Israel that included sovereign Jordanian and Palestinian territory.

“This constitutes a violation of the peace treaty and international norms,” he added.

The proposal to expel Israeli Ambassador, Eitan Surkis, still needs to be approved by the government to be effective.

Jordan and Israel signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty in 1994, which brought an end to the state of war between the two countries since the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

READ: Remembering the Wadi Araba Treaty and Jordan’s ‘cold peace’ with Israel