Jordan’s King Abdullah informed Israel on Sunday he will not renew two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan concerning territory leased to Israel. In a meeting with senior Jordanian officials in his Amman palace, the king said that the Jordanian government relayed an official message to Israel on the matter.
HM @KingAbdullahII : “#Baqura & #Ghamr areas have always been our top priority & our decision is to end Article 2 of Annexs I (b) of the #Jordan – #Israel #Peace Treaty emanating from our keenness to take whatever is necessary for Jordan & Jordanians.” https://t.co/skBB8a074q
— Embassy of Jordan?? (@JOembassyUK) October 21, 2018
The territories in question are known in Arabic as al-Baqura and al-Ghamr, and Naharyaim and Zofar in Hebrew.
“Baqoura and Ghumar were at the top of our priorities,” King Abdullah tweeted. “Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians."
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King Hussein of Jordan consoling Israeli family whose daughter was killed by a Jordanian soldier in Naharyim, 2007Avi Ohayon / GPO
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Israel leased the land for 25 years upon the signing of the treaty. The deadline for renewing said leases of the treaty is this coming Thursday. King Abdullah has faced ongoing pressure from the Jordanian parliament not to renew the leases, and to return the territory to full Jordanian sovereignty. Eighty-seven lawmakers have also signed a petition on the matter.
Last Friday, protesters marched in Amman demanding that Jordan reclaim sovereignty over the territories in question, with some demanding Jordan cancel the entire peace treaty with Israel.
Israel appointed a new ambassador to Jordan in February 2018, seven months after an Israeli security guard shot a Jordanian citizen who allegedly tried to stab him. A Jordanian bystander was also shot and killed in the incident. Israel immediately withdrew its embassy staff, including the ambassador at the time, Einat Schlein.
Jordan refused to allow Schlein to return to the embassy, and expressed indignation over how Israel depicted the incident and the warm reception that she and the guard, Ziv Moyal, received from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on their arrival in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee, however, had praise for Schlein and reiterated the ministry’s intention to appoint her to another post reflecting her abilities.
The resumption of operations at the Israeli embassy in Amman was made possible after Israel expressed regret over the shooting and agreed to pay compensation to the families of the two Jordanians who were killed. Last month, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad reported that Israel had paid a total of $5 million to the two families and the family of a Jordanian judge who was killed at the Israeli border crossing at the Allenby Bridge in 2014.