One year after ending their state of belligerency, Israel and Jordan sent a joint humanitarian aid airlift to Bosnia’s besieged Muslims — along with a message of peace for the war-torn country.
The Jordanian and Israeli planes took off separately from Amman and Tel Aviv for Split, Croatia. There, their cargoes of blankets, tents, food, medical and other crucial supplies were unloaded and redirected to Tuzla, where thousands of Bosnian Muslims have fled from Bosnian Serb attacks.
On July 25, 1994, at a White House ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein signed their Washington Declaration, ending 47 years of a state of war and paving the way for a peace treaty between the two nations last October.
Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan, head of his country’s delegation, said upon arrival in Split that he hoped the joint aid effort of two former enemies would bring a message of world peace.
“Today we remember one year of peace between Jordan and Israel,” he said. “I hope the symbolizing of the two sides signing a peace treaty” will serve as “some value to the warring parties in Bosnia.”
The airlift came a day after five Israelis were killed in a suicide bus bombing in Ramat Gan.
The head of the Israeli delegation, Environment Minister Yossi Sarid, said that despite Monday’s attack, the Middle East needs to demonstrate that terror is not the answer.
“It is a sad day, a tragic day, of funerals, mourning and pain,” he said. “But nevertheless, after reconsideration we came to the conclusion that we have to proceed with this operation because this is one of our answers to terror.”
The airlift was initiated by Jordan’s King Hussein.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey thanked Israel and Jordan for their aid.
“We are certainly most grateful for both the practical and symbolic help,” he said.
Together, the dignitaries visited the Jordanian peacekeeping forces stationed there, who will help transfer the aid.
Because of the Ramat Gan terror attack, a joint television broadcast with President Clinton, Rabin and Hussein that was scheduled to mark the signing of the Washington declaration, was postponed.