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Netanyahu to send water to Jordan after US nudge

April 14, 2021 at 9:30 am

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 24, 2021 [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to send more water from the River Jordan to Amman after encouragement from the United States, local media reported yesterday.

Jordan is expected to receive three million cubic metres of water over the coming weeks, Israel’s Walla news site reported.

Yedioth Ahronoth said that Jordan would pay for the additional water it gets, noting that the amount of water sent to Jordan surpassed the amount agreed upon in the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 1994.

Jordan requested an increase in the water Israel supplies it with weeks ago, but due to the ongoing crisis between the two countries, Netanyahu refused to send any extra water to the kingdom.

Settlements stealing Palestinian water - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Settlements stealing Palestinian water – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Hashemite kingdom then asked the administration of US President Joe Biden for help in resolving the issue, Axios news website reported, pointing out that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue in a phone call with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, and encouraged the Israeli government to help the Jordanians.

Under the peace agreement signed between Jordan and Israel, Tel Aviv is committed to supplying Amman with water, however, Jordan asks for an additional amount each year to deal with its demand needs. Israel typically obliges.

Tensions between the neighbouring countries were heightened last year after Israel declared it planned to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of UN resolutions and established peace agreements.

The situation was made worse when in March, Israel complicated measures imposed on a planned visit by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem churches.

Days later, Netanyahu was forced to call off his first visit to the UAE because Jordan would not allow his flight to transverse its airspace.

READ: Netanyahu’s crisis with Jordan may lead to unrest at the border, analyst warns