Resolving Palestinian issue key to regional stability says Jordan

Amman, Jan 27 (IANS) Jordan’s senior parliamentary official said on Tuesday that finding a just solution to the Palestinian issue and ending the Israeli occupation are key to restoring stability in the Middle East, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

At a joint press conference with a visiting British parliamentary delegation, the Lower House Palestine Committee President Yehya Saoud said resolving the Palestinian issue through a just and lasting solution is the key to ending wars in the region.

He also stressed on the Palestinians’ rights to freedom and independence, calling for an end of Israeli violations at holy sites in Jerusalem, urging the British to take a firm stance against the violation.

Over the past four months, the Israelis and the Palestinians have been locked in waves of violence, during which stabbing, car- ramming, and shooting attacks by the Palestinians have claimed the lives of 24 Israelis and a US citizen.

At least 150 Palestinians have been killed during that period, some in clashes with Israeli security forces in protests, while more than half were alleged attackers who were shot down at the scene of the attacks.

Israeli leaders blame the Palestinian National Authority for incitement to violence behind the wave of attacks, fueled by strife over the site of the al-Aqsa mosque (or Temple Mount) in east Jerusalem, holy to both Jews and Muslims, which are now under Jordan’s stewardship.

The Palestinians, on their part, charge Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, ongoing since 1967, and the dim prospects of establishing a Palestinian state in these territories in accordance with the two-state solution, are to blame for the upsurge in violence.

Yehya Saoud said his country will continue to defend the holy sites in Jerusalem and provide services to Palestinian refugee camps in spite of limited resources.

The British officials also voiced their support for Jordan’s efforts in resolving the Palestinian issue.

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