Jordan’s King refuses phone call from Netanyahu

Jordanian king rejects phone conversation with Netanyahu after previously stating he is firmly opposed to Israel’s planned annexation of settlements.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The king of Jordan refused to take a phone call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and would not comment on reports that Israel’s defense minister wants to meet with him, the Maan News agency reported Monday.

King Abdullah II has previously expressed his opposition to plans by Netanyahu to exert Israeli sovereignty over settlements in Judea and Samaria, areas that were occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six Day War. In the peace treaty signed between the two countries in 1997, Jordan gave up any claim to the territory.

A Jordanian official told Maan the incident came in the context of the crisis in Jordanian-Israeli relations over Netanyahu’s annexation plan slated to take place starting July 1, which the king calls a unilateral move that threatens the two-state solution.

A Jordanian government source told Maan the king refused to set a date for a meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who apparently requested a meeting in Amman to discuss the annexation issue.

“If Israel really annexed [Judea and Samaria] in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with Jordan,” the king said last month.

President Donald Trump’s peace plan allows Israel to annex 13 percent of the land in Judea and Samaria and 17 percent of the Jordan Valley. However, the map delineating the future borders is still being worked on by a joint Israeli-American mapping team, and almost none of the details have been released.

Israel in turn is obligated to negotiate with the Palestinians during a four-year window over the formation of an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected the U.S. peace plan sight unseen, despite its provision of $50 billion in economic incentives and its commitment to Palestinian statehood.