Queen of Jordan criticises Israel over flotilla raid
Queen Rania of Jordan criticised Israel Monday over its deadly raid on an aid flotilla last week and warned that its hardline policies towards the Palestinians were squeezing out moderates in the region.
Writing in The Independent newspaper, she said Israel's blockade of Gaza had "reduced it to a barely functioning, open-air prison", adding: "Every day the blockade continues is another day our humanity remains under siege."
Israel's attack on a convoy trying to break the blockade, which left nine activists dead, was conducted with "blatant and absurd disregard for anything resembling international law, human rights and diplomatic norms", she said.
"Although I was stunned at the glaring outrageousness of the attack, I am not surprised by it," the queen wrote, arguing it was the result of a defensive doctrine whose "primary goal is to survive -- and that precludes everything."
The wife of King Abdullah II continued: "Assigning themselves authority and immunity, Israel's leaders feel licensed to do whatever they like and not expect an international outcry."
She warned of the long-term effect of such actions, writing: "I fear that if the tides don't turn in our region, moderation will be amongst the most painful casualties of continued aggression and hardline policies."
Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, has joined the international condemnation and calls for an inquiry into the flotilla attack, which the Jewish state says was provoked by the activists on board.
© 2010 AFP