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Jordan: anger at electricity-for-water deal with Israel

Jordanians protest against gas deal with Israel in Amman, Jordan on 3 January 2020 [Laıth Al-jnaıdı/Anadolu Agency]
Jordanians protest against gas deal with Israel in Amman, Jordan on 3 January 2020 [Laıth Al-jnaıdı/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan has witnessed popular and political anger at a deal with Israel to exchange electricity generated in the kingdom with water from the occupation state, Safa reported on Wednesday. The means that Jordanian-produced electricity will be used to supply illegal Israeli settlements.

Jordan, Israel and the UAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday covering the deal. The Hashemite Kingdom is the second driest country in the world. The MoU means that feasibility studies will begin next year, explained the Jordanian Water Ministry, and the kingdom is likely to get 200 million cubic metre of water a year under the arrangement.

Last month, Jordan agreed with Israel to buy 50 million cubic metres of water on top of the amount specified in the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 1994.

As well as political criticism, popular groups and factional bodies condemned the barter deal as a "new normalisation" with Israel and said that it basically puts Jordan's fate into the hands of Israel.

"We reject this normalisation with the Zionist entity which practices the worst form of terror and crimes against our families and brothers in occupied Palestine," said the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. "The movement condemns and rejects putting vital and strategic sectors in the hands of a hostile entity that does not respect deals and agreements." It added a warning about the threat to Jordan from a public angry at the agreement.

The Partnership and Salvation Party described the deal as a "new disappointment" by the Jordanian government. "It is time for this absurdism to stop. The Information Minister denies such a deal in the morning and the Water Minister signs it in the evening. Doesn't Jordan deserve a better government?"

Popular bodies also condemned the deal and called for giving support to Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation instead of supporting the occupation against the Palestinians.

READ: Remembering the Wadi Araba Treaty and Jordan's 'cold peace' with Israel

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