The July 1 deadline set in March by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin a process of annexing up to 30% of occupied West Bank territories has come and gone, and nothing happened. There is a sense of reserved relief here in Jordan, a country whose leader, King Abdullah II, emerged as one of the most vociferous critics of the annexation, issuing on May 15 a terse warning of “a massive conflict” between Jordan and Israel “if Israel really annexed the West Bank in July."
But even though the controversial and illegal move appears to be on hold for now, Jordan is careful not to let down its guard. During a meeting with a number of military retirees July 1, the king stressed that “Jordan’s position on the Palestinian cause remains unwavering,” reaffirming that “any unilateral Israeli measures to annex lands in the West Bank are unacceptable,” according to a Royal Court statement cited by The Jordan Times. He added, “Jordan has clearly expressed its steadfast position that such measures would undermine chances to achieve peace and stability in the region,” pointing out that the kingdom was coordinating its position with a number of Arab and European countries.