Jordan fears influx of extremist elements from West Bank as Gaza war rages

Since war began, Jordan's King Abdullah II and FM have met with global leaders to end hostilities; Jordanian officials say displacement of West Bank Palestinians to Jordan would amount to declaration of war
Lior Ben Ari|
The ongoing war in the Gaza Strip and the fear of spillover into additional fronts greatly affect Jordan. Geographically, Jordan is positioned in a location that exposes it to several dangers, especially if the situation escalates to more combat zones.
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According to the newspaper Rai Al-Youm, multiple scenarios could potentially threaten the Hashemite Kingdom. A major concern for Jordan, paralleling Egypt's apprehensions, is the potential influx of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan. This situation is akin to Cairo's worry regarding the movement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Egypt.
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עבדאללה מלך ירדן
עבדאללה מלך ירדן
King Abdullah II of Jordan
(Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Jordanian officials have recently issued resolute statements asserting that the displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank to its territory would be considered a declaration of war.
Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi reiterated this sentiment in a Monday interview with Jordan's Al-Mamlaka channel, saying, “Any attempt to force migration into Jordan will be viewed as a declaration of war, and we will confront it with determination."
Additionally, Jordan is concerned about the infiltration of various elements from the so-called Axis of Resistance, a coalition of Iranian-backed actors united in their opposition to Israel’s existence, into its territory. These groups are mainly located in Syria and Iraq, both bordering Jordan.
Jordan faces an additional threat from the Houthi forces in Yemen. Geographically situated between Israel and both Iraq and certain parts of Syria, as well as Yemen, Jordan could be at risk if attacks targeting Israel traverse its airspace.
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מעבר רפיח פלסטינים עם אזרחות כפולה יוצאים מ עזה ל מצרים
מעבר רפיח פלסטינים עם אזרחות כפולה יוצאים מ עזה ל מצרים
Palestinians with dual citizenship leaving the Gaza Strip through Rafah Crossing
(Photo: REUTERS/Arafat Barbakh)
Moreover, Jordan is concerned about potential disruptions to the activities at the Aqaba port, which lies close to Israel’s Eilat, which has been targeted repeatedly by drone and missile attacks emanating from Yemen.
Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Safadi have been engaged in meetings with leaders across the Arab and Western worlds, attempting to bring about a cessation of hostilities.
Jordan emphasizes the importance of protecting civilians in the Gaza Strip, lifting the blockade of the territory and facilitating the urgent transfer of humanitarian aid through the Rafah Crossing.
Meanwhile, Safadi stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that Jordan was shelving an energy-for-water agreement with Israel which was originally planned to be signed in October, but was canceled due to the outbreak of war. “We had discussions about several regional projects, but the war has proven that none of this will happen,” he said.
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איימן חוסיין א ספדי
איימן חוסיין א ספדי
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi
(Photo: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)
Throughout the war, the Jordanian army has provided aid to its field hospital in the Gaza Strip. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that seven hospital staff members were injured in an Israeli attack as they attempted to treat Palestinian civilians. A ministry spokesperson said that endangering the hospital and its staff is a breach of international law, a sentiment echoed in condemnations from several Arab nations.
Queen Rania of Jordan has been actively involved in a campaign to support the Palestinians since the onset of the war, consistently voicing criticism against Israel. In her interviews with CNN, she has questioned the October 7 atrocities committed by Hamas and has openly criticized Israel, accusing it of “justifying the killing of civilians."
Jordan has seen large-scale demonstrations in solidarity with the Gaza Strip in recent weeks throughout the country, including near the Israeli embassy in Amman, with attempts made by protesters to march toward the Israel-Jordan border fence. The demonstrations featured anti-Israel chants, and the Jordanian security forces, pre-emptively prepared for some of these events, controlled the crowds using crowd control measures like tear gas.
Many of the large-scale protests took place after Friday prayers in mosques. Following the recent events at the Jordanian field hospital in the Gaza Strip, Jordan's Minister of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Mohammad Khalayleh, has called on imams and preachers across the country to dedicate prayers after Friday services to the "innocent victims in the Gaza Strip and throughout Palestine."
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