In the current escalation of violence, the Lebanese-Israeli border is caught again in the crossfire between Hezbollah and the Israeli forces, with significant losses on both sides and among Lebanese civilians. Despite the increasing tensions along the Blue Line in southern Lebanon, where UNIFIL is deployed, Hezbollah and the Israeli government do not seem keen to be engulfed in a 2006 like-war scenario. Hezbollah’s hesitation would primarily stem from the risk of reputational damage within the Lebanese public. Indeed, with a three-digit annual inflation rate, an unprecedented lira depreciation, and a gradual decrease in foreign exchange reserves, Lebanon is already a battered economy. The banking sector’s collapse and public sector erosion and infrastructure deterioration, coupled with a high unemployment rate and the increase in social inequalities, clearly illustrate the Lebanese financial and economic crisis. Against this backdrop, if Hezbollah gets involved in the conflict, the evident economic damages associated with the war would be compounded by the risks to Lebanon’s security and territorial integrity. It is not by chance that since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, the Lebanese caretaker government led by Najib Mikati, and major political parties have been stressing to their regional and international partners the need for Lebanon to stay out of the conflict and strengthen its state institutions.
Yet, in the cost-benefit analysis of the prospects for Hezbollah’s involvement, some factors including the ongoing siege of Gaza, Israeli ground invasion of the Strip, and Hamas’ capabilities for a prolonged confrontation with Israel need to be counted. These scenarios, along with the risck of a new wave of forced and permanent displacement of Palestinians from their land, could potentially change the status quo, turning South Lebanon from a zone of military confrontation to a full war zone. In this regard, afterward his meeting with Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian publicly declared to be informed by Nasrallah about the party of God’s red lines and its readiness to assess “all the scenarios”. Amir-Abdollahian statements would be further corroborated by the meeting, held in Beirut, between Nasrallah, Palestine Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nakhla, and Hamas's number-two Saleh Al Arouri.
If the Israel-Hamas war spirals into a wider regional conflict, a conflagration of the Israeli-Lebanese border would also risk mobilizing ever more Iran-affiliated groups located in Syria. As showcased by rockets launched by Palestinian factions with links to Hezbollah against occupied Israeli Golan Heights, as well as the attacks against US military bases by the Iranian “rearguard” in eastern Deir Ez-Zor and Al-Hasakah and Homs governorates, these Iran-backed militias are exerting great influence on Syrian soil. Additionally, according to local sources, Ismail Qaani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), would have recently visited Syria to establish an operative zone close to the Golan Heights and bolster coordination among Iranian proxies operating there. Since the outbreak of the war, Israeli aviation has been striking military sites of pro-Iranian factions located in the eastern countryside of Quneitra and the western countryside of Daraa and it has positioned armored vehicles in occupied Israeli Golan Heights opposite to Quneitra governorate. The Israeli Air Force also repeatedly conducted simultaneous strikes against Aleppo and Damascus airports, allegedly to slow down (air) transport of weapons and military supplies sent by Teheran.
Due to geographic proximity and its large Palestinian population, Jordan is deeply concerned about the repercussions of the Israeli-Hamas war for its security and stability and those of the whole region. It is not by chance that Amman has asked the United States to deploy Patriot air defense systems on its soil to enhance security against ballistic missile threats. Concerns over the potential threat to Jordan airspace rose after Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched missiles targeting Israel.
Reportedly, one of the Houthi’s missiles fell in the Al-Mudawwara area, in Jordan's southeast Ma’an governorate. Concurrently, and similarly to Lebanon, pro-Palestinian protests, alternating with pro-Hamas slogans, have taken to the streets in Jordan, escalating significantly in the aftermath of Israel’s shelling of Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. Against this backdrop, authorities have adopted preventive measures, such as banning demonstrations and gatherings in the Jordan Valley and border areas, to ensure and maintain security therein.
This goes hand-in-hand with government-intensive diplomatic efforts to stop conflict in Gaza, promote immediate humanitarian truce in the Strip, and prevent any spillover of the crisis into the West Bank. This is in line with the draft resolution submitted by the Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on behalf of the Arab countries to the United Nations and adopted by the UN General Assembly on Oct. 27. On the occasion of the European tour in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany and during the meetings with both regional and international partners – including the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmud Abbas, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, – Abdullah II stressed that the region will never be secure or stable without the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace on the basis of the two-state solution. On various occasions, including at the Cairo Peace Summit, the King also reiterated the need to cease collective punishment of the entire civilian population in Gaza, calling any attempt to forcefully displace Palestinians from their land a “war crime” and a red line that cannot be crossed. In Cairo, Abdullah II denounced the “international apathy and inaction” – what he called the "global silence" – on indiscriminate Israel’s attacks on Gaza and the use of a double-standard narrative in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Download the October 2023 report
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|Head of state||Abdullah II|
|Head of Government||Bisher Al-Khasawneh|
|Institutional Form||Unitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy|
|Legislative Power||The bicameral National Assembly is divided into the Senate (65 Members) and the Chamber of Deputies (130 Members)|
|Judicial Power||Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (consists of 15 members)|
|Ambassador to Italy||Kais Abu Dayyeh|
|Total Area kmq||89,342 km2|
|Weather||Arid desert; rainy season in the west (November to April)|
|Natural resources||Phosphates, potassium and oil shale|
|Economic summary||The Jordanian economy is among the smallest of the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil and other natural resources.|
|GDP||$45.24 billion (Dec. 2021)|
|Pro-capite GDP (Purchasing power parity)||$4092 (Dec. 2021)|
$9.72 billion (2020)
|Export partner||United States 21.6%, Saudi Arabia 11.8%, India 10.4%, Iraq 6.81%, China 5.76% (2020)|
$19.1 billion (2020)
|Import partner||China 16.9%, Saudi Arabia 12.4%, United States 7.02%, UAE 6.73% (2020)|
|Trade With Italy||$ 641,6 million (2021)|
|Population Growth||+0,81% (2022 est.)|
|Ethnicities||Jordanians 69.4%, Syrians 13.3%, Palestinians 6.7%, Egyptians 6.7%, Iraqis 1.4%, others 2.5% (includes Armenians and Circassians)|
|Languages||Arabic (official language), English, Circassian, Armenian|
|Religions||Muslims 97.1% (official; predominantly Sunnis), Christians 2.1% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Protestants), Buddhists 0.4%, Hindus 0.1%, Jews <0.1%, folk <0.1%, others <0.1%, unaffiliated <0.1% (2020)|
|Urbanization||91,8% (2022 est.)|
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan gained independence in 1946. The country borders with Syria to the north and northeast, with Iraq to the northeast, with Saudi Arabia to the east and southeast, and with Israel and the Red Sea to the west. It has a population of about 11 million. Arabic, which is spoken as a first language by 95 percent of the population, is the official language. However, English is widely used in the business sector and education, at university level and in public schools.
Its position at the center of the Levant, its history and political and diplomatic relations with many countries in the region, have awarded Jordan strategic regional importance. This is further increased by the fact that the country is crossed north-south by the Arab Gas Pipeline, built to export natural gas from Egypt to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The Kingdom is a major ally of the United States. It has good relations with other Arab countries, as well as Turkey, and it acts as a regional mediator.
Jordan is the second Arab country, after Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, in 1994. Historically, it has been home to a high number of Palestinian refugees and currently hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees.
In 2021 the trade between Italy and Jordan reached $ 641,6 million. For Italy, Jordan is a crucial political partner in the region. The Italian Development Cooperation Agency supports Jordan in delivering reforms to enhance public services for better life conditions. Italy is a key partner in a number of projects focused on a few priority sectors. For example, in 2019 Italy promoted a €85 million project to implement education initiatives, with a specific emphasis on early childhood and vocational training. Cooperation in the cultural sector is also important, with Italy playing a very active role in promoting the protection of Jordan’s cultural heritage and supporting sustainable tourism. In the research sector, Italy allocated €5 million to the Sesame project, the first particle accelerator in the Near East, and the first in the world to be powered by solar energy, located in Jordan.