Jordan slams Smotrich’s ‘violation of peace treaty,’ summons Israeli ambassador

Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement affirming that it is committed to the countries’ 1994 peace agreement.

By World Israel News Staff and Associated Press

Jordanian officials were enraged over Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s comments to an audience in France Sunday evening, in which he said that there is no Palestinian nation.

“Who was the first Palestinian king? What language do the Palestinians have? Has there ever been a Palestinian currency? Is there a Palestinian history or culture? There isn’t any,” he said.

In the background was a map of “Greater Israel” that included not only Judea and Samaria, but also Jordan.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry called Smotrich’s presentation a “reckless inflammatory act and a violation of international norms and the peace treaty” between the two countries. It later summoned Israel’s ambassador.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday evening released a statement affirming that it is committed to the countries’ 1994 peace agreement.

“There has been no change in the position of the State of Israel, which recognizes the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom,” the statement said.

The development came a day after Israeli and Palestinian delegations attended a security summit in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh that was also attended by representatives from the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and the U.S.

Ahmed Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said Smotrich’s remarks “deny the facts of history and geography … (and) undermine the efforts aimed at achieving calm between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.”

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Smotrich’s remarks were “conclusive evidence of the extremist, racist Zionist ideology that governs the parties of the current Israeli government.”

In Brussels, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the minister’s remarks “certainly cannot be tolerated.” He called on the Israeli government “to disavow those comments and to start working with all parties to defuse tensions.”

Borrell has been barred from making an official visit to Israel over his equating Palestinian terrorism with IDF counter-terrorism activities.