Jordan king confirms meeting Israel’s Bennett, Gantz

Jordan's King Abdullah II (Brendan Smialowski - AFP)

Middle East Monitor   /  July 26, 2021

King Abdullah II has confirmed meeting Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defence Minister Benny Gantz, saying that the meeting with the officials was “very encouraging.”

In an interview with CNN, King Abdullah said: “It was important for me not only to meet with the Palestinian leadership. I met the prime minister [Bennett], I met General Gantz. We really have to get back to the table.”

However, he said: “This government may not be the most ideal government to, in my view, a two-state solution, which I think is the only solution.”

Adding that he “came out of those meetings feeling very encouraged, and I think we have seen in the past couple of weeks, not only a better understanding between Israel and Jordan, but the voices coming out of both Israel and Palestine that we need to move forward and reset that relationship.”

Commenting on the latest Israeli war on Gaza, King Abdullah said: “Since 1948, this was the first time I feel that a civil war happened in Israel,” referring to protests held by Palestinian citizens of Israel against the Israeli occupation’s practices.

“I think that was a wake-up call for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine, that unless we move along, unless we give hope to the Palestinians,” he said, stressing: “The next war will be even more damaging.”

King Abdullah said that more Arab countries would normalize relations with Israel. “I don’t know which country is going to be next, but I have noticed that a trend from Arab countries that are looking at their national security interests, with their concerns — the shadow of Iran along with a lot of the regional challenges — that see the option of having a relationship with Israel in their vested interest.”