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Netanyahu rejects Amman's request to increase water supplies to Jordan

Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he attends the Kohelet Policy Forum conference in Jerusalem, on January 8, 2020 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he attends the Kohelet Policy Forum conference in Jerusalem, on January 8, 2020 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has escalated the spat with Jordan as he turned down the Jordanian request to increase water supplies to the kingdom, Arab48.com reported on Friday.

Netanyahu's rejection to allow increased water supplies to Jordan came against Israel's security services' recommendations.

However, Arab48.com reported Haaretz stating that this rejection reflects the deep crisis between the two countries, pointing out that Netanyahu's rejection was likely part of a personal confrontation with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

There have been many causes for the crisis between the two countries, mainly relating to Israel's breach of the peace treaty with Jordan.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, confirmed a lack of trust between the two sides, highlighted by Israel's plans last year to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

READ: Netanyahu is not ready to step down, despite another election deadlock

Arab48.com reported that the crisis escalated when Netanyahu's planned visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) early in March was called off as he wanted to use it as part of his electoral campaign.

Netanyahu's office said that the visit was cancelled: "Due to difficulties in coordinating his flight in Jordan's airspace." However, Foreign Policy disclosed that Jordan refused to allow Netanyahu's flight to traverse its airspace.

This came in retaliation to complicated measures imposed on a planned visit for Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem churches.

Foreign Policy also revealed that the roots of this measure extended beyond this incident: "In reality, Abdullah was striking back for years of diplomatic snubs by the Israeli leader."

Arab48.com reported Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv stating that Israel continues to breach the peace deal with Jordan. The newspaper noted that the deal stipulates that Israel should continuously allow Jordan to obtain water from the River Jordan, but Jordan sometimes asks for more than specified in the deal during dry seasons, and Israel accepts such requests.

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