Jordanian Lawmakers to Review Deals with Israel Amidst Ongoing Conflict
Amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Jordanian lawmakers are set to refer their recommendations on deals signed with Israel to the government this week. The lower house of Jordan’s parliament has tasked its legal committee with examining all Jordanian-Israeli agreements and making recommendations for the government to take any necessary action.
Growing Public Outrage
The move comes as public outrage in Jordan intensifies over the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Since October 7, thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets in Amman and other cities, demanding that their government sever diplomatic ties with Israel. The protests reflect a hardened Jordanian narrative on the conflict, and lawmakers are responding to the public sentiment.
Legal Committee’s Examination
MP Fayez Basbous, a member of the legal committee, stated that the panel has already consulted with legal experts and is finalizing its assessment of all the deals Jordan has signed with Israel. The recommendations will then be sent to the government for further action. Basbous emphasized that no conclusions have been reached yet, indicating that the examination is still ongoing.
Hostility towards Agreements
According to a parliamentary source, the overall sentiment within the lower house is hostile towards the agreements with Israel. Lawmakers are calling for the cancellation or suspension of these deals. The source, who requested anonymity, revealed that this sentiment is prevalent among the lawmakers.
Among the agreements under review is the 1994 Wadi Araba Treaty, which established diplomatic relations between Jordan and Israel. In addition, a $10 billion gas deal was signed in 2016. Furthermore, Jordan and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2022 to advance a water-for-energy deal. This agreement, brokered by the UAE, entails Jordan building 600 megawatts of solar power capacity to export to Israel. In return, Jordan would receive 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water, addressing its water scarcity issues.
However, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi announced on Thursday that Jordan would not sign the water-for-energy deal. Safadi cited Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza as the reason behind this decision. The statement reflects the growing tension between the two countries and the impact of the conflict on their bilateral relations.
As Jordanian lawmakers prepare to submit their recommendations on deals signed with Israel, the country is grappling with a wave of public outrage over the ongoing conflict. The examination of these agreements by the legal committee underscores the seriousness of the situation and the need for the government to address the concerns raised by its citizens. The outcome of this review will have significant implications for Jordan’s relationship with Israel and its stance on the conflict.