Jordan: New Israeli battalion does not concern us

Jordan: New Israeli battalion does not concern us
2 min read
02 July, 2015
Jordan has said it's not concerned about reports from Israel of the "Lions of the Jordan", as long as it doesn't affect Amman's security and sovereignty.
Jordan's Wadi Araba stretches along the border with Israel [Getty]

A Jordanian official announced on Thursday that the country was not concerned about Israeli media reports on the formation of a special Israeli army battalion named "Lions of the Jordan", apparently tasked with guarding Israel's border with Jordan.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous, told al-Araby al-Jadeed: "If the reports are true, we are not concerned by the battalion and the nature of its duties unless it affects our national security and sovereignty. At that point we would have a different position."

The source added that if the battalion's duty was to protect the internationally recognised border outlined in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, then that would be considered a purely Israeli domestic matter.

Israeli army radio reported on Wednesday that the new battalion was announced during an inauguration ceremony on the border.

The station quoted the commander of the battalion as saying: "We have important challenges ahead of us, in which we expect powers in the Arab world and around us to change. This might present a challenge with which he have to defend the eastern borders of the state of Israel."

The Israeli government has approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to build a 30km wall along its border with Jordan. It claims that the wall would serve to prevent "extremists" from entering Israel.