Palestinian statehood bid finds unexpected opponent in Jordan

Thursday, June 30, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

To the surprise of many, Jordan will side with Israel, the US and European powers this September when the Palestinian Authority petitions the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state.

United Arab Emirates newspaper al-Bayan reported on Wednesday that the Jordanian regime has decided to vote against a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians.

"Jordan's top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders," a senior Jordanian official told the newspaper.

Palestinian Arabs actually make up about 60 percent of Jordan's own population, meaning the Bedouin-ruled kingdom would be leaned on heavily by a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. There is even speculation that the Palestinian Arabs could eventually try to seize control of Jordan.

The decision by Jordan to oppose Palestinian statehood, at least via a unilateral declaration, is further evidence of the danger such a state will pose to the region, and the burden it will be on the international community.

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