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Jordan recalls ambassador in protest of Israeli detentions

Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations in protest over Israelā€™s refusal to heed its demands to release two citizens it said were illegally detained for months without charges, the kingdomā€™s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Ayman Safadi said in a tweet he held the Israeli government responsible for the lives of Hiba Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri whose ā€œhealth conditions have severely deteriorated.ā€ He added that recalling the envoy was a first step but did not elaborate.

Labadi, 24, went on a hunger strike and was hospitalized after her health deteriorated. She was arrested in August after crossing to the West Bank to attend a family wedding and so far has not been indicted.

Safadi said Israelā€™s administrative detention of both citizens was ā€œillegalā€ and vowed his country would ā€œtake all necessary legal and diplomatic measures to ensure their safe return home.ā€

Jordanā€™s relations with Israel have been strained in recent years and the kingdom, which is one of only two Arab states that have a peace treaty with its neighbor, fears Israelā€™s possible annexation of territory in the occupied West Bank, where expansion of settlement building over several decades has dimmed prospects of a future Palestinian state.

The peace treaty with Israel is unpopular among the people of Jordan, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is widespread. Many of Jordanā€™s 7 million citizens are of Palestinian origin.

(The story is refiled to clarify that Jordan fears possible annexation)

Source: Reuters

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