Jordan’s head of the Development and Free Zones Commission, Maha Khatib, has denied the existence of any agreement or plans to establish a joint industrial zone with Israel. Khatib told the Jordanian newspaper, Alghad, that there are “no instructions” for such a zone. Reports to the contrary in the Israeli media are “incorrect and completely false”, he insisted.
Nevertheless, Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth claimed that a joint industrial zone between Israel and Jordan is to be established in the Kibbutz Tirat Zvi region, which is located on both sides of the border. The report said that a bridge across the River Jordan will be built to connect the two sides, which will be called “Sha’r Hayarden” (The Jordan Gate). Israeli regional cooperation minister, Silvan Shalom, has developed the plan, it is claimed.
Furthermore, the General Manager of the Industrial Cities Company, Louay Sahwil, said that there is “no relationship whatsoever” between his company and “the joint industrial city project between Jordan and Israel.” He stressed that the Industrial Cities Company is a national company that has neither short-term nor long-term directions towards founding a joint industrial zone with Israel. Sahwil added that, in any case, the company rejects any form of partnership with the Israelis on such a project.