‘Our goal was self-defense, not protecting Israel’ – Jordanian FM

“The Jordanian king dropped missiles on his citizens to protect Israel,” says outraged local.

By World Israel News Staff

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi downplayed the country’s role in shooting down missiles and drones launched from Iran that were bound for Israel, in the face of intense public backlash over the kingdom’s participation in the multi-national defense operation.

Safadi, who has been highly critical of Israel in the past, told an Arabic-language news outlet that the country had acted in its own self-interests, rather than to protect the Jewish State.

Jordan has “an ongoing policy to intercept anything that endangers Jordan because our top priority is defending Jordan, the lives and property of its people and the country’s security and stability,” Safadi told Al-Mamlaka, according to a translation by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

But Safadi’s statement failed to calm the spirits of many Jordanians.

“I’m very upset at how Jordan defended Israel,” Hussein, a political activist, told DW. He refrained from giving his last name to the news outlet due to concerns over publicly criticizing the Jordanian government.

“A lot of people here do not accept this. We don’t support Iran and see it as a major cause of what is happening in Gaza. But we do stand with any action that deters Israel in Gaza,” he added.

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“The Jordanian king dropped missiles on his citizens to protect Israel,” wrote an anonymous user from Jordan on social media platform X. The post quickly went viral, with other Jordanians chiming in that they were similarly angry about the country’s role in shooting down Iranian aerial targets.

Although Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, tensions between the country are icy. At least twenty percent of Jordan’s residents are of Palestinian origin and antisemitic views are rife in the country. Jewish travelers to Jordan, and even those simply passing through its airport, have been subject to harassment by security forces and customs agents.

Since the outbreak of war, many Jordanians have expressed their support for the Hamas terror group. Shortly after the massacres which left more than 1,200 dead in Israel, a Jordanian shawarma restaurant renamed itself “October 7th” in order to celebrate the slaughter.

In recent weeks, thousands of Jordanians attempted to storm the Israeli embassy in Amman, in nightly protests that went on for nearly two weeks.