Jordanian unionist says more Israeli flags to be drawn at all office entrances
Israeli Foreign Ministry says it lodged a protest with Amman earlier this week after Jordanian minister stepped on an image of the flag
Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel
A top Jordanian unionist has said Israeli flags will be drawn on the ground of all entrances to Jordan’s Professional Unions complex in Amman as well as its satellite offices around the country.
“We will draw the flag on all entrances to the complex in Amman and its branch offices in the provinces,” Ibrahim al-Tarawneh, the head of the Jordanian Dentists Union, told the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour in an interview published on Thursday.
Last week, a photo published on the Jordanian website Jfranews showed Jordanian Information Minister Jumana Ghneimat stepping on a large image of the Israeli flag as she made her way through the main entrance to the Professional Unions complex.
While the main entrance of the complex featured an image of an Israeli flag plastered on to the ground, its other entrances did not as of earlier this week.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had filed a protest to the Jordanian government over the incident.
The ministry said it took the incident extremely seriously and had summoned Jordan’s acting ambassador to Israel to convey its concerns.
Later on Sunday, Majed Qatarneh, spokesman of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, said that Israel had sought clarifications over the incident and noted the ministry was handling the issue through “diplomatic channels.”
“The Israeli side was informed that the building is a private one and the minister entered it from the main entrance for an official meeting,” he said in comments published on Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency. “We have emphasized that we respect the peace treaty with Israel.”
Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries to have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994, but relations have often been frosty amid differences over Israeli policies in Jerusalem — where Jordan is custodian over Muslim sites — and toward the Palestinians.
In October Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced he would not renew part of the peace treaty that granted Israel use of two small agricultural areas on the Jordanian side of the border.
Abdullah said he would be pulling out of two sectioned annexes to the peace agreement that allowed Israel to lease the areas from the Jordanians for 25 years. The leases are due to expire this year.
Abdullah had been under domestic pressure to end the lease, which includes areas at Naharayim in the north and the Tzofar enclave in the southern Arava desert, both of which are slated to return to Jordanian hands within the year.