Jordan’s skepticism of Israel’s ability to eradicate Hamas, and pledge to halt Gaza displacement

Jordan’s foreign minister expressed confusion over Israel’s stated goal of eradicating the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which it is currently fighting in Gaza.

“Israel says it wants to wipe out Hamas. There’s a lot of military people here, I just don’t understand how this objective can be realized,” said Ayman Safadi.

Fears of displacement

He warned Jordan would do “whatever it takes to stop” the displacement of Palestinians, amid heavy Israeli bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in retaliation for an October 7 attack by Hamas and other Islamist terrorists.

“We will never allow that to happen, in addition to it being a war crime, it would be a direct threat to our national security. We’ll do whatever it takes to stop it” said Safadi at the IISS Manama Dialogue security summit in Bahrain.

The Israel-Hamas war has reawakened long-standing fears in Jordan, home to a large population of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. They fear that Israel could expel Palestinians en masse from the West Bank, where Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians have surged since the Oct. 7 attack.

“This war is not taking us anywhere but towards more conflict, more suffering and the threat of expanding into regional wars,” said Safadi.