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Amid Jerusalem anger, Jordan MPs vote to review peace deal with Israel

The measure is unlikely to lead to concrete changes as the king is in charge of the country’s foreign affairs

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

The Jordanian Parliament. (Jordan Parliament official)
The Jordanian Parliament. (Jordan Parliament official)

Amid mounting anger over the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Jordanian parliament on Sunday voted unanimously to review the 1994 peace deal with Israel.

The parliament authorized a legal committee to examine all agreements signed with Israel, including the peace treaty, in order to take a decision on them, the leading Jordanian daily al-Ghad reported.

The step is seen as largely symbolic as matters of foreign policy are mostly decided by Jordan’s Royal court rather than parliament.

File: Jordan’s King Abdullah II speaks during a press conference with US President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House on April 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Jordan has strong security relations with Israel, while social and civil communications between the two countries remains low.

Israel and Jordan are also currently embroiled in a dispute after an Israeli security guard at the embassy in Jordan shot and killed a teen who tried to stab him. A bystander was also killed.  Jordan has refused to allow the embassy staff to return until the guard has been put on trial. Israel believes he acted in self-defense.

Thousands of Jordanians took to the streets on Friday in order to protest Trump’s decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Jordan has a special stake in Jerusalem. Its monarch is the religious guardian of the Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount, and the kingdom has a large Palestinian population.

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

AFP contributed to this report. 

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