Netanyahu’s plans to annex West Bank could unleash new extremism wave in Middle East: Jordan PM

AMMAN: Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has warned against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to annex large parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, stating that such a contentious move could unleash a new wave of extremism in the Middle East region.

Razzaz told British daily newspaper the Guardian in an interview published on Tuesday that the Tel Aviv regime’s plans to apply its laws to a number of areas in the West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley under US President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be “ushering in a new apartheid state” that could be a radicalizing force and further destabilize the region.

“The way we see it, anything short of a viable two-state solution is going to push not just Jordan, not just Palestine, not just Israel, but the region and the world into chaos,” he said in the Jordanian capital city of Amman.

The Jordanian prime minister went on to say that his country would support a “one-state democratic solution,” if it offered equal rights to both Palestinians and Israelis.

“We are against unilateral actions. We are against annexation. We are against any steps that are not within an overall scheme that leads to a two-state solution,” Razzaz noted.

He warned Israel could become increasingly isolated in not just the region but also the global community if it pushes ahead with annexation, highlighting international attitudes toward South Africa when it was under an apartheid regime.

“South Africa was not a problem for its neighboring countries; South Africa was a problem for the world. If Israel continues on this track, it’s going to be a problem for the world,” Jordan’s prime minister highlighted.

The deal of the century envisions Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the Tel Aviv regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley. The plan also denies Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homeland, among other controversial terms.

Trump’s plan has triggered waves of protest around the globe.

Many Palestinians believe the Israeli plans to annex one-third of the already illegally occupied West Bank, including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, is only a formality and a de facto Israeli occupation of their land has been underway for many years.

“Israel’s annexation plan has been in process since 1967,” said Salah Khawaja, coordinator of an anti-occupation campaign called the Popular Committee to Resist the Wall and the Settlements.

“Israel has since built settlements and the wall. And so, annexation has been ongoing for a long time,” he added.

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