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Jordan: Parliament votes by majority to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman


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On Wednesday, March 22, 2023, the Jordanian Parliament voted by majority on a proposal to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman in response to the far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s use of a map of Israel that includes the kingdom and the Palestinian territories, and his denial of the existence of a Palestinian people.

“There is a proposal to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman (Eitan Surkis),” Parliament Speaker Ahmad Al-Safadi said during a session broadcast on Jordanian state television.

It was not clear how many of the 130 council members voted in favor.

Al-Safadi urged his country’s government to “take effective and effective measures towards the occupation government’s finance minister using a map that includes the borders of the Kingdom and the occupied Palestinian territories,” noting that “this is something that cannot be tolerated, and constitutes a violation of the peace treaty and international norms.”

Smotrich’s remarks, in which he denied the existence of the Palestinians as individuals and as a people during an evening organized Sunday by an extremist Zionist group in Paris, were sharply criticized even by Washington.

Video clips and pictures of Smotrich making those statements spread from a podium on which was hung a map of “Greater Israel” that includes Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Al-Safadi said on Wednesday that “the statements of the Minister of Finance of the occupation government reflect the image of his extremist government, and will only increase Jordanians’ steadfastness behind their leadership, army and security services.”

He stressed that it “will only increase the Palestinian people’s steadfastness in the face of the machine of war and destruction, which continues to defile our Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem.”

Al-Safadi added, “The criminal and extremist actions of the occupation undermine all efforts for comprehensive peace, and put the international community in front of the responsibility of siding either with the people’s right to self-determination or siding with an extremist government.”

The majority vote in the House of Representatives on a proposal to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman comes two days after he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in protest at Smotrich’s behavior.

The vote of the House of Representatives is not binding. According to the Jordanian constitution, any decision must be approved by the Jordanian government and then the king.

In 2021, all council members signed a memorandum calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Amman and the withdrawal of the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv.

Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994 that ended decades of war between them.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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