| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Jordan says Israel aims to expel Palestinians from Gaza

The claims made by Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, on Sunday that Israel was pursuing a policy of driving out Palestinians from Gaza through a war that he claimed fit the “legal definition of genocide” were deemed “outrageous” by Israel.

Safadi, whose nation borders the West Bank and took in the majority of Palestinians following Israel’s establishment in 1948, added that Israel was responsible for inciting hatred that would linger in the area and shape future generations.

Israel launched the offensive in response to an Oct 7 cross-border killing and kidnapping spree by gunmen from Hamas, the Islamist militant group that is sworn to its destruction.

“What we are seeing in Gaza is not just simply the killing of innocent people and the destruction of their livelihoods (by Israel) but a systematic effort to empty Gaza of its people,” Safadi said at a conference in Doha.

“We have not seen the world yet come to the place we should come to … an unequivocal demand for ending this war; a war that is within the legal definition of genocide.”

Asked to respond, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said: “These are, of course, outrageous and false accusations.”

“Israel is fighting to defend itself from the monsters who perpetrated the Oct. 7 massacre, and the purpose of our campaign is to bring those monsters to justice and ensure they can never again hurt our people,” he added.

Israel has been urging Gaza civilians to relocate from battlegrounds for their own safety and would like to see others echo that call, he said.

Safadi argued that Israel’s avowed goal of destroying Hamas was belied by the extent of destruction among Gaza civilians, which he described as indiscriminate.

Safadi also said that major differences had surfaced in talks between a delegation of Arab ministers and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington last Friday over the U.S. administration’s military support for Israel and its refusal to call for a ceasefire.

  • Reuters