Jordan takes control of two agricultural enclaves in Israel

The relations between the two neighbors are at their lowest, exactly twenty years after the signing of the peace treaty which guaranteed the loan of these lands.

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Without ceremony, without dialogue, Jordan regained control on Sunday, November 10, of two enclaves of agricultural land border Israel: a symbol of the continued deterioration of relations between the two countries. Neighboring kibbutz peasants had been exploiting them until then for free, under two annexes to the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty concluded in October 1994. Twenty-five years after the signature of the text, Israeli television was content, for mark this decline, to broadcast images of soldiers padlocking the yellow portals barring the entrance to Baqoura, one of these confetti of land.

On Monday, November 11, King Abdullah II went there himself to signify the end of the lease. At the same time Benyamin Netanyahu expressed in Parliament, in Jerusalem, his attachment to the substance of the treaty. "We have a clear and strong interest in the existence of peace agreements [with Jordan and Egypt]"hammered the Israeli prime minister, accused for several weeks by his opposition of neglecting agreements with his two immediate neighbors. "On the one hand, there is no need to attack us because we are strong. It's the bottom. On the other hand, we are strong enough to prevent [these states] being overthrown themselves. The nature of our relationships comes from a sober and utilitarian calculation "said Netanyahu. An attitude of authority that could only be badly received in Amman.

This firmness masks a failure. In the past year, negotiations between the Jordanian foreign minister and the head of the Israeli national security council have not helped to calm the discord. The Jordanian ruler has remained on his refusal, expressed in October 2018, to renew the Israeli lease on the enclaves of Baqoura and Ghoumar. Abdallah II had then aroused amazement in Israel, to whom he sent a signal. The first was to charge the Israelis for the removal of the two-state solution with the Palestinians, in the absence of any dialogue.

Read also Jordan looks back on two annexes to the peace treaty with Israel

"Deal of the century"

Like the Palestinian Authority, Amman has been shelved from the negotiations of the "deal of the century" wanted by the American administration of Donald Trump, in favor of Arab monarchies of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates United. The plan has yet to be revealed, and Netanyahu's promise in the election campaign in September to annex the Jordan Valley in the adjoining West Bank further scalded the Jordanian kingdom. Former Foreign Minister Marouan Muasher summarized Amman's position on Monday: "Extending the lease made no sense. By not supporting a viable two-state solution, Israel is working directly against Jordan's interest and deserves no special favor from Jordan. "


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