Report: Jordan Rebuffs Netanyahu, Gantz over West Bank Annexation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II at the Jordanian Royal Palace in Amman on May 1, 2018. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV — In protest over Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has refused to accept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s phone calls and has so far not set a date for a meeting with Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

The Jordanian king has snubbed Gantz’s overtures to meet with him, a Jordanian official told Ma’an while Gantz, who also serves as defense minister, requested the meeting to discuss the annexation plans.

Relations between Jordan and Israel have been strained in recent years, with Abdullah and Netanyahu only meeting on one occasion.

In August, Netanyahu was again turned down after asking to meet with the monarch.

That snub was made “in light of the difficult relations between Jordan and Israel” and President Donald Trump’s peace plan for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported at the time.

King Abdullah has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with plans to apply law to parts of the West Bank, raising concerns that the Hashemite Kingdom may even cancel its peace treaty with the Jewish state.

Abdullah told Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper he was “considering every option.”

“Leaders who advocate a one-state solution do not understand what that would mean,” he said. “What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed? There would be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”

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