As war rages in Gaza, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to escalate, causing grievous harm to civilians and threatening stability across the Middle East. Crisis Group experts offer a 360-degree view of how various capitals in the region view this crisis and their own interests therein.
Thousands rallied countrywide in solidarity with Palestinians as govt sharply criticised Israel’s “massacre” and “war crime” in Gaza.
Following outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel on 7 Oct (see Israel-Palestine), Jordanians rallied near-daily close to Israeli embassy in capital Amman in solidarity with Palestinians. Tensions rose as security forces 13 Oct dispersed around 500 protesters with tear gas as they attempted to reach area bordering Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Amman, despite Interior Ministry 12 Oct banning protests in area. Protesters in Amman 13 Oct demanded closure of Israeli embassy and abrogation of 1994 peace treaty with Israel, while thousands also rallied in Irbid and Zarqa cities in support of Hamas. After deadly blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, security forces 17 Oct clashed with protesters near Israeli embassy as demonstrators sought to storm compound, injuring several anti-riot personnel. Meanwhile on diplomatic front, govt 17 Oct cancelled summit scheduled next day with U.S., Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to discuss situation in Gaza; FM Ayman Safadi said summit would be held later when parties could agree to end “war and the massacres against Palestinians”. At Cairo Peace Conference, King Abdullah II 21 Oct called Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza “a war crime” and lamented “selective” application of international law to Palestinian issue. UN General Assembly 27 Oct adopted resolution proposed by Jordan calling for “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza. Army 30 Oct said it requested U.S. to deploy air defence systems as tensions rise in region.
The quarter-century mark of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty has passed with little fanfare, as key constituencies in both countries question its core premises. The Trump administration’s policies and peace plan sharpen doubts. Reviving the 1994 deal’s spirit is important for Israel, Jordan and the region.
As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.
The season of Arab uprisings has not engulfed Jordan, but nor has it entirely passed the nation by. Pillars of the regime are showing cracks, and it ultimately will have to either undertake sweeping change or experience far-reaching turmoil.
A refugee crisis was feared before the coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003, but it came later than anticipated, and on a greater scale.
The horrifying 9 November 2005 suicide attacks against three hotels in Amman – with a toll of 60 dead and over 100 wounded – drove home two important messages.
This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability:
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