A rare accord as Knesset embraces Jordan
Yesterday's vote shows the near consensus in Israel in support for a peace agreement in Jordan. It is a vote of confidence in King Hussein himself, again in contrast to the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, who enjoys little respect in Israel.
As an indication of the the new relationship across the Jordan, King Hussein was yesterday allowed for the first time to overfly Israel on his way back from Europe, his jet escorted by Israeli warplanes. The Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, told the King as he passed through Israeli airspace: 'Welcome to Israel, even though it's in the air.' A further step to implement the accord was when bulldozers from both sides demolished part of the border fence near the Red Sea to allow third-party nationals to travel between the resorts of Eilat and Aqaba.
The favoured treatment to King Hussein will only rub salt in the wounds of Mr Arafat, already smarting from the role ascribed to King Hussein as guardian of the holy places in Jerusalem. On Monday, the PLO called for an emergency Arab League meeting to back its claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. It has accused Israel of violating the PLO-Israel autonomy accords, signed in September, by giving Jordan a special role.
Israel's policy has been to depoliticise the holy places issue. The Knesset has also adopted a resolution reaffirming Jerusalem's status as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel. This has further angered the Palestinians, who feel it prejudges negotiations on the final status of the occupied territories. Israel does not accept that east Jerusalem, which it annexed shortly after its conquest in 1967, is occupied territory.
Mr Arafat, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper, has accused Israel of trying to drive a wedge between Jordan and the Palestinians and warned about a flare-up of violence.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's Frozen...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the installa...