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Jordan protests expected ahead of Israel gas deal

December 16, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Jordan is expected to witness a wave of popular protests as the implementation of a $10 billion gas deal with Israel looms on the horizon. Activists and lawmakers in the Hashemite Kingdom have been calling on the government to cancel the agreement with Israel, saying that the US has forced Jordan to sign the deal despite its economic and moral prejudices.

According to its opponents, the agreement about “the gas stolen from Palestine” stipulates that if any gas fields are discovered in Jordan during the lifespan of the deal, the buyer (Jordan) may not reduce the import price by more than 20 per cent.

Campaigners calling for the cancellation of the agreement have asked for a meeting next Tuesday to discuss ways to convince the government to cancel it. The Coordinator of the national campaign to cancel the gas agreement with Israel, Hisham Al-Bustani, told Quds Press: “There are two ways to confront the agreement with its imminent implantation date at the beginning of next month. We either press parliament to stop its implementation, or wait for popular escalation through vigils.”

READ: Israel to start exporting gas to Jordan, Egypt within weeks 

Raed Al-Khazaaleh is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Jordanian House of Representatives. He has also called for the gas agreement with Israel to be cancelled. Anyone who signed it, he insists, must be held accountable.

In 2016, Israel signed a $10 billion deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply Amman with natural gas for 15 years. The agreement will provide the Kingdom with approximately 45 billion cubic metres of gas from the Leviathan offshore gas field.

Israel has previously stated that some of the deal’s revenues will be paid towards the military budget. It is expected to start pumping gas to Jordan in January.