Merkel: We're prepared for any Brexit outcome    Bomb blast kills Pakistani tribal elder near Afghan border    Sisi congratulates Egypt's 'heroic' U19 handball team on World Championship win    Wildfire prompts evacuations in Canary Islands    EFG Hermes earnings reach EGP 304m on operating revenues of EGP 1.1bn    28th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing embraces attendees with international troupes    A simple diet change could help live longer, reduce cardiovascular risks by 16%    Personalized cancer treatment wins FDA approval    Egypt's FRA awards Banque Misr non-banking financial activities licence    ”May God Ruin him”, grandmother US first Muslim Congresswoman says about Trump    Egyptian bourse approves to raise Zahraa Maadi's capital to $7.9mn    Brazil-born Elkeson included in China squad in landmark move    Tennis: Vanquished Djokovic heaps praise on mercurial Medvedev    A major flooding hit Istanbul, killing one person    Egypt condemns Houthis' attack on Saudi oil field    Serbian Micho to be Zamalek's new coach: Egypt's Mortada Mansour    Mubasher International Securities launches a new version of trading app    EGP likely to strengthen further over next 6 months: Fitch Solutions    Cairo University tops 2019 Shanghai Academic Ranking    Sisi opens greenhouse complex in Egypt's Marsa Matrouh    3 sentenced to death for 2016 killing of 4 Egyptian policemen    Egypt's Sisi names Osama Rabie as new Suez Canal Authority chairman    Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker, US wants it seized again    Too early to estimate Nile's flooding volume: Irrigation Ministry    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    Sudanese army, opposition sign power-sharing agreement for transitional period    Cairo University jumps 100 ranks in Shanghai Ranking    Egypt's Sisi appoints new Suez Canal Authority chairman    Sudan's key opposition may nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister    Disney warrior Mulan star: ‘I support the Hong Kong police, #BoycottMulan trending    Egypt's Zamalek equal club record with 7-0 hammering of Somalia's Dekedaha    Egypt to launch Bike for Every Citizen initiative soon    LA Opera declines details on longtime general director's investigation    Samih Sawiris lays foundation stone of El Gouna Cultural Center    Ebola outbreak spreads to 3rd province in eastern Congo    Economic, educational legislations will top fifth parliamentary round    New Alamein to host Amr Diab concert on Friday    Sudan opposition to nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister: Sources    Liverpool wins Super Cup after penalty shootout against Chelsea    Egypt produces ‘Fraud' documentary on Muslim Brotherhood history    VIDEO: Egyptian Media Group releases ‘Scam,' documentary on ‘Muslim Brotherhood terrorist history'    Photo of Egyptologist Zahi Hawass to decorate NYC's Times Square to promote tourism to Egypt    Egypt to reopen Tanta Museum August-end: ministry    FACE integrates homeless children into society    Three incredible Egyptian athletes who challenged their disabilities    Egypt keen on supporting youth: Sisi on IYD    T. Jefferson Parker tells latest tale in tight, vivid prose    EFA's marketing department awaits election of new board to develop Egyptian football: Zaher    

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.