Friday, October 30, 2020

Jordan’s King Abdullah II to cease leasing lands to Israel

By F. Abagnale - October 29, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Jordan]

Last Sunday the Jordanian King Abdullah II warned Israel that he will not renew an agreement which leases land to Israeli farmers. 

The agreement comes under a peace treaty concerning territory leased to Israel for 25 years.
Signed in October 1994, the Jordanian lands of Baqoura-Naharayim, south of the Sea of Galilee and Al-Ghamr-Zofar, south of the Dead Sea, were made freely available to Israeli farmers until the end of next year.
King Abdullah II took to Twitter stating:
“Our decision is to terminate the Baqoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians.”
“The king had two choices: either to risk a crisis with Israel, or to risk a worsening internal situation,” Oraib Rantawi, director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies in Amman, explained.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reacted this Sunday during a ceremony in memory of former Prime Minister Yitzahk Rabin.
“This agreement [of peace] in its entirety is a good thing for our two countries,” he declared, hinting his disappointment.
Abdullah II has faced ongoing pressure from Jordanian Parliament and the Jordanian population to not renew this agreement next year.
The relations between Jordan and Israel have also worsened over the last few years.
One reason being the lack of serious negotiation with the Palestinians, the continuation of colonization and the annexation of Area C.
The arrival at the White House of Donald Trump accelerated this deterioration, placing the king of Jordan under strong pressure by the public.
This discomfort is particularly related to the end of US funding for UNRWA - the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, 2 million of whom live in Jordan.
Jordan is a strong advocate for the two state solution, based on the border of 1967, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.
The status of the holy city of Jerusalem is also a friction point with Jordan and Israel, particularly the allowance of non-Muslims to enter Al Aqsa.
The tensions between the two countries may have kickstarted after an Israeli guard at the Embassy in Amman killed a Jordanian in July 2017 after trying to enter the premises.
King Abdullah II has until this Thursday to confirm his decision to not renew this section of the peace agreement.

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