Jordanian minister angers Israel by stepping on flag
Amman reaffirms respect for peace treaty with Jewish state after perceived insult at trade union complex in the capital
Israel protested to Jordan on Sunday after a minister was pictured stepping on an image of the Jewish state’s flag while entering a meeting.
Jumana Ghneimat, Jordan’s minister of state for information, was pictured last week stepping on the flag design when entering a meeting at a trade union complex.
The image of the flag has been affixed to the floor just inside the entrance to the premises for several years to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and the normalization of Jordan’s ties with the Jewish state, union officials say.
Israel called Jordan’s ambassador in to ask for an explanation on Sunday, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry considers the incident in which a Jordanian minister insulted the Israeli flag in Amman as serious,” a statement said.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry later responded, reaffirming “the [Jordanian] government’s respect for the peace treaty with Israel.”
Jordan had told Israeli officials “that the building was private property and that the minister entered via the main entrance to attend an official meeting,” said spokesman Majed al-Qatarneh.
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz was reported to have entered the building through a side door.
Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse