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Jordan says Israel has ‘disavowed’ far-right minister’s provocative flag

Israel has assured Jordan that the behaviour of a top cabinet minister who spoke at a podium which had a flag showing an imaginarily expanded Israel that included Jordan did not represent their position, an official source said.

The source also told Reuters that top Israeli officials also conveyed that they rejected far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s move during a speech on Monday and that they respected Jordan’s borders and the peace treaty with Jordan.

Smotrich addressed an event in Paris while standing by a map of so-called greater Israel, portraying Jordan as part of it.

In a statement, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Sinan Majali termed Smotrich’s act as a “reckless incitement that is in violation of international norms and the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.”
Jordan and Israel signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty in 1994, which brought an end to the state of war between the two countries since the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

READ MORE: ‘Wipe out’ Palestinian town was ‘slip of the tongue’ – Israeli minister

Israel was quick to reiterate its commitment to its peace agreement with Jordan.

“There has been no change in the position of the State of Israel, which recognises the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During his Paris speech, Smotrich denied the existence of the Palestinian people, saying the Palestinians were “an invention” from the last century and that people like himself and his grandparents were the “real Palestinians.”

Jordan condemns “the racist and extremist inciting statements made by the extremist Israeli minister against the Palestinian people, their right to exist, and their historical rights in their independent and sovereign state on the Palestinian national soil,” Majali said.

Smotrich triggered a storm of international condemnations last month after he said the Palestinian town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank should be “wiped out” following the death of two settlers in a shooting attack.

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