Jordanian queen claims humanitarian crisis in Gaza is ‘deliberate’

In interview with CNN, Rania says ‘Palestinians have experienced 156 October 7s’, insists aid airdrops are not a replacement for ‘humanitarian access at scale’

A handout picture released by the Press Service of Jordan's Queen Rania on March 11, 2024, shows her speaking in an exclusive CNN interview about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. (Photo by Queen Rania's office)
A handout picture released by the Press Service of Jordan's Queen Rania on March 11, 2024, shows her speaking in an exclusive CNN interview about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. (Photo by Queen Rania's office)

Jordan’s Queen Rania has charged that the “outrageous, shameful” humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where the United Nations has warned that 2.2 million Palestinians are on the brink of famine amid the ongoing war, was “entirely predictable… because it was deliberate.”

Speaking to CNN, Rania, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, did not expand on the charge as she was asked another question by host Christiane Amanpour.

Later in the interview, when asked how she could expect Israelis to live side by side with Hamas after the terror group’s October 7 massacre, Rania sidestepped and answered, “I would say that as devastating and as traumatic as October 7 was, it doesn’t give Israel license to commit atrocity after atrocity. Israel experienced one October 7. Since then, the Palestinians have experienced 156 October 7s. They have been going through this every day.”

The war in Gaza erupted 156 days ago after thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, mostly civilians in their homes and at a music festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality and sexual assault.

Vowing to destroy the terror group, Israel responded with a wide-scale ground and air campaign that the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said has now killed more than 31,000 people. These figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 13,000 terror operatives in Gaza since the war started, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

Rania pointed the finger at “one of the most hardline, racist governments in Israel’s history,” blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bolstering Hamas in order to prevent the Palestinian Authority from moving toward statehood and “keeping their people in this perpetual state of fear of an existential threat that doesn’t exist.”

Speaking to Amanpour from the King Abdullah II Airbase, where humanitarian aid was being prepared to be airdropped into Gaza by the US military in coordination with Jordan, Egypt and France, Rania reiterated previous calls for an “immediate and sustained ceasefire.”

A Monday statement from Queen Rania’s office said that the Jordanian Armed Forces had conducted 38 solo airdrops to Gaza and 46 with partners since the start of the war.

Rania called the airdrop operation a resort “to desperate measures in order to address a desperate situation.”

“They’re just drops in the ocean of unmet needs,” she said, insisting that the efforts were not a replacement for “humanitarian access at scale.”

“As it stands today, there’s tons of food in trucks that are miles away from people who are starving. The hunger is not a natural disaster. This is a man-made, an Israeli-made disaster. It is deprivation by design,” she charged.

In this image obtained from the US Central Command (CENTCOM), military personnel prepare to load humanitarian aid into US Air Force C-130 planes at an undisclosed location on March 5, 2024, in a joint US-Jordan operation. (Handout/US Central Command/AFP)

“Since the beginning of this war, Israel has cut off everything that is required to sustain a human life,” Rania said in the interview released on Monday, adding that “food, fuel, shelter, medicine, water” were in scarce supply as the war rages into its sixth month.

“This has been a slow motion, mass murder of children, five months in the making. Children who were thriving and healthy just five months ago are wasting away in front of their parents,” she said.

In similarly impassioned interviews with CNN in the months since the war in Gaza erupted with Hamas’s grisly October 7 onslaught, Rania has called Israel’s bid to eliminate the terror group “short-sighted and not entirely rational” and appeared to deny documented atrocities from the massacre in southern Israel.

(L-R) Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, King Abdullah II of Jordan, US President Joe Biden, US First Lady Jill Biden and Queen Rania Al Abdullah stand for photos during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 12, 2024.(Jim Watson/AFP)

Jordan was the second Arab state to make peace with Israel in 1994, after Egypt in 1979. Thousands of protesters have called for Amman to rescind its peace treaty with Israel because of the war against Hamas.

Jordan, whose population is believed to be at least 50 percent Palestinian, has shown nervousness over the war in Gaza and already tense relations have further soured.

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