Jordan Axes Water-for-Energy With Israel
Jordan doesn’t want to sign the water-for-energy deal with Israel given the IDF’s killing spree in Gaza, against the Hamas. Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian Foreign Minister, said Amman will not hesitate to do anything to support the Palestinian people.
“Israel is pushing the entire region into hell, and this war cannot continue. We see the occupied West Bank is on fire, and we see settlement terrorism and the northern front with Lebanon escalating.”
Safadi said Israel has created an environment of hatred amid which there cannot be normal, peaceful relations. “We have a people that we respect. We have public opinion and positions as a Jordanian state.”
Jordan, Israel Relations Rock Bottom
The water-for-energy deal was significant for Israel. It was signed in Dubai in November 2021. Israel was to build a desalination plant in Jordan in exchange for electricity generated by solar power plant.
Jordan signed the peace agreement with Israel in 1994 after the signing of the Oslo Accords as part of a wider Arab effort to establish a two-state solution. But to date, that has not been achieved. Amman has warned over the years that the status quo is untenable and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies have weakened Hamas’ rival the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the two-state solution.
With Israel warring in Gaza to eradicate Hamas, the conflict has killed over 11,000 Palestinians majority being children and women. Jordan has been calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, but to no avail. On Monday, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh warned Israel against displacing the Palestinian population or either Gaza or West Bank. He said such a move would be a real red line and declaration of war.
Jordan Puts Diplomatic Pressure
Since Israel intensified its attack on Gaza following October 7, Jordan has recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv. Rallies have been held across the kingdom denouncing Israel’s actions and calling for ceasefire. Jordan Queen Rania has also been vocal on international news platforms calling out the world for its double standard and killing of Palestinian children.
Yoav Alon, a professor at Tel Aviv University, said Jordan and Israel relationship has always been complicated. He pointed out that all of Jordanian political class is engaged in efforts to stop Israeli strikes and reach a ceasefire.
“They are also at odds with the American stance, blaming the Biden administration of offering Israel what they call diplomatic immunity or full backup. The Kingdom and the White House agreed on canceling President Joe Biden’s visit to Amman last month because of the popular unrest over the war.”
Jordan is also concerned about Israel pushing Egypt to agree to let Palestinians exit the Gaza Strip to Sinai Peninsula. There are fears in the region that Israel will establish an alternative homeland for Palestinians.