(JNS) The Israeli government will build a security barrier along the country’s eastern border with Jordan in an attempt to thwart Iranian efforts to stir up violence, Army Radio reported on Monday.
During a closed meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reportedly told lawmakers that the Israel Defense Forces has noticed an increase in Tehran’s involvement in transferring arms and know-how into Judea and Samaria.
“Iran and [Palestinian] terrorist organizations have identified Judea and Samaria as a weak spot and direct many resources there for the purpose of attacks,” Gallant stated, per Army Radio.
“Looking ahead, we intend to erect a barrier on the border with Jordan as well,” he said. The Jewish state shares a 192-mile frontier with the Hashemite Kingdom.
Local media suggested Gallant’s remarks were connected to an incident that took place last week, details of which have been barred from publication.
Acting on the advice of security officials in 2016, Jerusalem extended the barrier on the Egyptian border to include a small section along the Jordanian border north of Eilat. Some parts are only protected by a torn, barbed-wire fence.
Israeli authorities arrested a Jordanian lawmaker earlier this year on suspicion of smuggling hundreds of weapons into Judea. Imad al-Adwan, a lawyer and member of the parliament’s Palestine committee, had a history of anti-Israel rhetoric and support for Palestinian terror groups.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen downplayed the incident, describing it as criminal in nature. “I don’t think this has anything to do with Jordan as a whole, but rather an irresponsible crime,” he said. He added that he didn’t want to blame the Jordanian government or its parliament.
Following Israel’s counter-terror operation in Jenin in early July, Iranian officials reportedly assured the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization that the Islamic Republic would smuggle additional weapons to Judea and Samaria through Jordan.
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