Jordanian King Abdullah II to take back lands from Israel, while Israel pleads negotiations

Amman – King of Jordan Abdullah II announced on Sunday to take back Jordan’s agricultural lands from Israel within a year.

According to the 1994 peace-treaty between Jordan and Israel, Israeli farmers can use water-rich Jordanian agricultural lands of al-Baqura and al-Ghumar for farming for 25 years.

The treaty should be renewed by 25th October 2018, however Jordan’s King annulled the treaty and decided to take back the lands. The treaty is automatically renewable unless either side gives a year’s notice to terminate the deal.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would plead Jordan to extend the treaty.

The areas include within the boundaries the Isle of Peace tourist spot, a man-made island and hydroelectric power plant at the convergence of the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River.

King Abdullah II said, “Our decision is to end the annexes of the peace treaty based on our keenness to take all that is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians.”

“Al-Baqura and al-Ghumar are Jordanian land and will remain Jordanian,” he added.

“We are practicing our full sovereignty on our land,” he emphasized.

Khalil Atiyeh – Member of Jordanian Parliament said – 85 Jordanian MPs signed a petition calling on the King not to renew the lease agreement with Israel.

Former UN environmental official and critic of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty Sufyan al-Tell called the announcement “timely and reflects the will of the people of Jordan”.

King Abdullah II hasn’t expressed the reason for the decision yet, but the decision has been applauded by the Jordanians and the neighboring Arab nations.