search

‘Agreement of shame’: Thousands of Jordanians protest major energy deal with Israel

Demonstrators in Amman say ‘normalization is treason’ after largest-ever agreement between Israel and Jordan

People chant slogans as hundreds of demonstrators gather in Jordan's capital Amman to protest a deal with Israel, on November 26, 2021. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)
People chant slogans as hundreds of demonstrators gather in Jordan's capital Amman to protest a deal with Israel, on November 26, 2021. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)

Thousands of Jordanians protested against a major deal between Jordan and Israel on energy and water in Amman on Friday.

Extra police forces were deployed to the downtown of the capital as protesters demanded the government cancel Jordan’s peace deal with Israel and called normalization a humiliation.

Protesters chanted “No to the agreement of shame,” and carried signs that read, “Normalization is treason,” according to a Reuters report.

The protest was put together by opposition parties, tribal groups and unions.

The United Arab Emirates-brokered agreement signed last week will see the construction of a major solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom to generate electricity for the Jewish state while a desalination plant established in Israel will send water to Jordan.

It is the largest-ever cooperation agreement signed between Jerusalem and Amman since the former enemies signed a peace treaty in 1994, and is the largest current renewable energy project in the Middle East.

The deal represented the latest byproduct of the Abraham Accords normalization agreement Israel signed with the UAE last year under the auspices of the Trump administration. The Biden administration has also pledged to build on those agreements while remaining adamant that they are not a replacement for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Feasibility studies for the project are due to start next year.

Jordan is one of the world’s most water-deficient nations and its cooperation on water with Israel dates back to before the two established formal relations.

Israel is also a hot, dry country, but its advanced desalination technology has opened opportunities for selling freshwater.

Experts say the future cooperation could help improve relations, which Jordan’s King Abdullah has described as a “cold peace.”

A Wednesday report said that Saudi Arabia attempted to pressure the UAE to torpedo the deal. Unlike Jordan and the UAE, Saudi Arabia does not have formal relations with Israel.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed