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--Jordanian Interior Minister: We Will Not Let Palestinians Through Our Borders

--PLO's Ahmed: Israeli Military Order Means an End to the Peace Process

The Jordanian government will not allow Palestinians to be "forcefully deported" to Jordan by Israel, and discourages Israel from "taking any step which removes Palestinians from their land," Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef al-Qadi told pan-Arab daily AL HAYAT, Sunday. Qadi's comments come in response to an Israeli military order which took effect last week aimed at cracking down on Palestinian "infiltrators." The military diktat affects those who are "living in the West Bank illegally," which includes native Gazans and potentially spouses of Palestinians. International reaction to this law has been uniformly negative, with some Arab regimes calling it "ethnic cleansing" and "racism". (See MER 12/4/2010-15/4/2010)

"We have heard the Israeli threats, and any decision to deport the Palestinians from their homes is unacceptable, condemnable, and considered an attack on the interests and rights of the Palestinian people," Qadi said. He then said that the Israeli threats "reflect negatively on Jordanian interests and pose a threat that paves the way for the liquidation of the Palestinian cause at the expense of Jordan's land and people."

Qadi, in an exclusive interview with AL HAYAT said, "Palestine is Palestine ... and we have said on more than one occasion that Jordan is Jordan." He continued, "We stand today, and we will always stand to prevent displacement and its effects and consequences ... and we will not accept it ... we will stand as Jordanians and Palestinians against the Israeli actions, and we will defend our land and our rights for future generations no matter the cost, in price and in sacrifice."


Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of the Palestinian Fatah Movement's Central Committee and head of its parliamentary bloc, said in an exclusive interview with pan-Arab daily ASHARQ ALAWSAT Sunday that the new Israeli military diktat represents "a repudiation of the Oslo agreements", "a continuation of the occupation", and "the end of the peace process".

Ahmed was interviewed by the daily in an effort to clarify the perceived effects of the new Israeli law. Asked about the political significance of this new law, Ahmed told the Saudi-owned daily that in all practicality, "It means that the occupation still exists, that the Israeli government does not recognize agreements it has signed, that the situation has returned to how it was before the Oslo accords, and that there is no peace process." The Oslo accords, a string of agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993, allowed the formation of the National Palestinian Authority and Palestinians "administrative responsibility" on their territories.

On the ground, however Ahmed admitted to ASHARQ AL AWSAT that "no one knows specifically" how many Palestinians will be affected by the new law, but that the situation is "dangerous" for the Gazans living in the West Bank. He described how theoretically a married woman with ten children living in the West Bank could be sent back to Gaza Strip under the provisions of the new law.

Ahmed said that the number of Gazans living in the West Bank is estimated at some 30,000. Among these, some 2,000 fled to the West Bank after the outbreak of the Fatah-Hamas conflict in 2006. They are considered "wanted" by the Hamas government of the West Bank and could be persecuted if forcibly returned. Asked if those who moved to the West Bank before Oslo could still be affected by the Israeli order, he responded "of course".
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Title Annotation:Weekend News Roundup
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Apr 19, 2010
Previous Article:Lebanon-Syria.
Next Article:Syria-Mideast.

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