MANAMA (Reuters) – Jordan’s foreign minister said on Saturday that he did not understand how Israel’s goal of obliterating the Palestinian militant group Hamas it is fighting in Gaza could be achieved.
“Israel says it wants to wipe out Hamas. There’s a lot of military people here, I just don’t understand how this objective can be realized,” said Ayman Safadi.
He warned Jordan would do “whatever it takes to stop” the displacement of Palestinians, amid heavy Israeli bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and other Islamist militants.
“We will never allow that to happen, in addition to it being a war crime, it would be a direct threat to our national security. We’ll do whatever it takes to stop it” said Safadi at the IISS Manama Dialogue security summit in Bahrain.
The Israel-Hamas war has reawakened long-standing fears in Jordan, home to a large population of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. They fear that Israel could expel Palestinians en masse from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians have surged since Oct. 7 attack.
“This war is not taking us anywhere but towards more conflict, more suffering and the threat of expanding into regional wars,” said Safadi.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Andrew Gray in Manama; Editing by Kim Coghill, Michael Georgy and Tomasz Janowski)
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