Jordan Times
Petra | Dec 21, 2014 | 22:51

AMMAN — The Rafah Party on Sunday criticised the government’s plans to buy gas from Israel, commending the Lower House’s stance against the deal.

Party Secretary General Mohammad Shomali called on the government to respect the House’s recommendation in shelving the planned gas deal.

Al Arabiyah

Agence France Presse, Amman
Sunday, 21 December 2014

Jordan’s main opposition Islamist party threatened Saturday to take legal action against anyone in the kingdom who signs a controversial gas deal with Israel.

Amman’s plans to buy gas from Israel have aroused fierce opposition at a time of mounting criticism of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

The Islamic Action Front, political wing of the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, said on its website that it “strongly rejects the deal in question, no matter what the pretext, political or economic, and will prosecute all those who agree to or sign such an agreement.”

The IAF said it regretted that the government “has stubbornly ignored the popular will to maintain suspect relations with the occupying power [Israel] and to conclude such an agreement.”

The 20-year-old peace treaty between Jordan and Israel is deeply unpopular among Jordanians almost half of whom are of Palestinian origin.

Detractors of the September gas deal, under which Israel would supply Jordan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet (45.4 billion cubic meters) of natural gas from its Leviathan offshore field over 15 years, reject any cooperation with a country they regard as an enemy.

A source close to the deal, which has yet to be approved by the Amman government, said it would be worth $15 billion.

Energy-poor Jordan was heavily reliant on gas supplies from Egypt, until they ground to a halt following a spate of bomb attacks since 2011 on the export pipeline through Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula.

Parliament debated the deal on Tuesday after 79 lawmakers in the 150-seat house filed a motion calling for it to be scrapped.

Defending the project, Energy Minister Mohamed Hamed told parliament buying gas from Israel “does not threaten the future of Jordan nor does it leave Jordan’s economy hostage in the hands of any country”.
Last Update: Sunday, 21 December 2014 KSA 23:50 – GMT 20:50


Jordanians protest expected gas deal with Israel

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of protesters marched in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Friday to denounce a gas deal with Israel that is expected to be passed by the end of the year.

Protesters held signs against the Israeli diplomatic mission in Jordan and against normalization with Israel during the rally, bearing messages such as: “The gas of the enemy is occupation,” “The people of Jordan are not collaborators,” and various other messages calling for a revocation of the 1994 deal that normalized relations between Israel and Jordan after decades of hostility.

The head of the youth office of the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party, Fakher Da’as, said the march aimed to send a message to the parliament and the government in order to pressure them to take real steps against the agreement.

The march was called for by the youth offices of the six leftist and nationalistic parties in Jordan as well as the Ahrar al-Asima group.

Although the 1994 Wadi Araba agreement officially ended decades of conflict between Israel and Jordan, many Jordanians opposed and continued to oppose the agreement, which ended Jordanian claims of sovereignty to the West Bank.

Opposition has persisted particularly in light of Israel’s failure to follow through on the various peace accords it has signed with Palestinians, as well as the repeated and ongoing assaults and invasions it has carried out in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.