Lebanon president says he knew of highly explosive material at Beirut's port in July    Lebanon navigates food challenge with no grain silo and few stocks    Microsoft could buy TikTok for as much as $30 billion    Around 50,000 tourists visited Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada since easing lockdown    New Suez Canal revenues record $27.2bn in five years    Dow futures fall 100 points amid Trump's ban order on Chinese apps    China's exports increase 7.2% Y-o-Y in July due to demand for medical supplies    Trump issues executive orders banning WeChat and TikTok in 45 days    Egypt, Greece sign maritime demarcation agreement    Live score: Manchester City v Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)    Death toll from Beirut port blast rises to 154, says Lebanon state news agency    Africa passes 1M confirmed virus cases; true number far more    South Korean doctors strike over plan to boost medical student numbers    Morelos distracted by speculation, says Rangers boss Gerrard    Tennis: Martic, Kontaveit dig deep to advance to Palermo quarter-finals    Philippines records most coronavirus cases in eastern Asia after new surge    India suffers record jump in COVID-19 cases to pass 2 mln    Egypt's net foreign reserves edge up to $38.315 bln in July: Central Bank    IMF says exploring ways to aid Lebanon, calls for movement on reforms    Call for submissions for Egypt's 'Golden Talent' competition for people with special needs    South Africa calls for 'amicable solution' for GERD    Foreigners staying in Cairo without residency permits to not allowed in resort towns    Egypt records 123 new coronavirus cases, 18 deaths on Wednesday    Egypt rejects Ethiopia's latest proposal on GERD: Irrigation ministry    Senate slam dunk    Don't miss the concerts of Boghdady Jazz Big band    My visual diary    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    Egypt invites Tesla's founder to visit Giza Pyramids after controversial tweets    Sisi: Egypt favours negotiations over a military solution to resolve Nile dam crisis: Al-Sisi    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    Egypt's President Sisi ratifies extending state of emergency for 3 months    Egypt Cup games to resume after Premier League finishes: EFA    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    Reports over Ethiopia filling mega-dam    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Google ‘translate' ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    Farwell to 74-year old Egyptian military production minister El-Assar    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Will Jordan rewrite relations with Israel?
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 25 - 10 - 2018

Jordan's King Abdullah II has declared he does not intend to renew Appendix 1 sections b and c of the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel signed in 1994, which gave Israel a lease over two agricultural areas on the border, Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamr. Jordanians, political elites and the media defended the move which seems to be very popular. There have been widespread protests recently demanding that Jordan extend sovereignty over these territories and not renew Israel's lease. After the king made up his mind, these protests became demonstrations supporting the royal decree as a sovereign decision.
King Abdullah tweeted: “Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamr have always been a top priority. Our decision is to end Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamr annex in the peace treaty due to our commitment to take decisions in the interests of Jordan and Jordanians.”
Later, in an open meeting with the press, the monarch said he notified Israel of his decision. “We are exercising our full sovereignty over our territories. Our priority in this regional climate is to protect our interests and do everything necessary for Jordan and Jordanians,” he added.
Meanwhile, unofficial Israeli circles viewed Jordan's move as an indicator that bilateral diplomatic relations have cooled. On the official front, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, while attending an event commemorating the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – who signed the treaty with Jordan – at Mount Hertzl Cemetery in Jerusalem: “We will hold talks with Jordan to expand the current agreement, but the treaty overall is important and dear to both countries.”
Despite Jordan's decision, Netanyahu said the peace treaty between the two countries is a “genuine peace treaty”.
King Abdullah
Said Okasha, an expert at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, told Al-Ahram Weekly: “Israel's view is that Jordanian pressure has resulted in this decision due to internal conditions caused by the economic crisis, in the presence of a political current – part of which is a strong Islamist current – that rejects the treaty altogether.” Okasha added: “The treaty also strikes a balance needed in Jordanian-US relations, and therefore such a decision could open the door to suspended discussions on key issues such as settling Palestinians inside the country and Jordanian religious endowments in Jerusalem.”
On the Jordanian front, Roman Haddad, a writer at Al-Rai newspaper, said that Jordan's decision is contradictory to all those who doubted Jordan's sovereignty over these territories. Even those who demanded the two annex clauses should be removed, hinted that decision makers in Jordan will not be able to take this step, because they believe Jordan has surrendered sovereignty.
“This is proof that Jordan did not surrender sovereignty when it leased out these territories for 25 years; everyone must admit that the royal decree is a superior sovereign decision,” he wrote.
In an article titled “Abdullah II proves Jordan's political sovereignty with a military mind,” Haddad noted: “It is important to view this decision on several levels. Jordan's relations with Israel appear tense today and can worsen. Israel will be forced to sit at the negotiating table to end the two annex clauses, but at the same time it will carry out many procedural matters in the process. It may take certain measures against the properties of Jordanians west of the River Jordan, and we will see growing Israeli pressure on the US to reduce UNRWA funding to put pressure on Jordan on the issue of refugees, in an attempt to transfer the problem into a domestic Jordanian one.
Haddad further expects Israel to take provocative steps that escalate tensions regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount.
Tarek Fahmi, an expert and director of Israeli studies at the National Centre for Middle East Studies, told the Weekly there are many challenges facing both sides if this scenario plays out. Israel will most likely escalate its tone regarding the territories; for example, Israel's minister of agriculture threatened to cut off water supplies there or other alternatives. Even Netanyahu told the security cabinet that he will submit an official request for renewal.
There is another problem on the borders of these territories because of existing settlements nearby. However, the king has made up his mind and his popularity has soared with massive popular and media support, which makes it difficult for him to reverse his decision under the glare of local political forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rabin and late king Hussein sign the 1994 Arab peace treaty
The decision will move from the realm of the masses and media to the realm of security between the two sides, since there will be negotiations, which opens matters to a variety of possible scenarios. Israel could ask for the formation of a special committee that could take long years to reach a conclusion, or resort to an international forum through the International Court of Justice or an international commission. Even though the text of the treaty does not stipulate this, there could be a scenario similar to that of Taba in Egypt. Another scenario is to leave Al-Baqura and postpone Al-Ghamr, which is the greater problem, thus imposing a half solution.
Fahmi added that now is not a good time for Israel to address outstanding issues, which is what Netanyahu implied by saying that peace with Jordan is genuine, and therefore he does not want to open other issues pertaining to the Palestinian cause, Jerusalem and others because time is against him. He wants to maintain a stable peace with Egypt and Jordan as models, and therefore the coming phase could witness a push and pull between the two sides, but it would be difficult to say that this will reshape Jordanian-Israeli relations, since this would not serve the interests of either side.

Clic here to read the story from its source.