By Suzanna Goussous – Jul 25,2018

AMMAN — The Professional Associations Council on Wednesday organised a demonstration in Irbid, protesting the ongoing construction work on the Israeli pipeline in Jordan, through which supplies are expected to begin in 2020, according to official sources.

Jordan is currently building a 65-kilometre pipeline which will link Jordan’s north to Israel’s border, Director General of the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) Abdel Fattah Daradkeh previously told The Jordan Times, adding that the pipeline will be in Mafraq, distributing gas to the power plants across the Kingdom to generate electricity.

He added that the pipeline will be finalised by the end of 2019 and the gas is expected to arrive in Jordan in 2020.

Ali Obous, president of the Professional Associations Council, told The Jordan Times that the “pipeline does not serve the country’s interest in any way; is stolen gas and we have energy sources to invest in instead, such as solar energy and oil shale oil”.

“It is our duty as Jordanians to reject such project with Israel, as it is not only unnecessary but also unethical,” Obous said.

“The Arab world exports energy to the world… how is it possible that an Arab country is now importing gas from Israel with $10 billion to fund the Zionist entity’s terrorism”.

Hisham Bustani, head of the Jordanian National Campaign Against Gas Agreement with the Zionist Entity, said their movement and the associations voice Jordanians’ rejection of the gas pipeline project with Israel.

“The government will be using Jordanians’ money to fund the atrocities committed by the Zionists,” he added.

“There should be a unified stance from Jordan. The government condemns the violations committed in Jerusalem; simultaneously, we are buying Israeli gas for 15 years. Aqaba’s port is exporting gas to Egypt, which shows that we do not need the stolen gas,” he added.

Wondering why the Treasury is willing and capable of “funding Israel and not Jordanians”, Bustani added “Jordan’s security and economic growth will be in the hands of our enemy.”

Ahmad Z’ubi, president of the Jordanian Engineers Association, said Jordanian engineers are able to find energy alternatives if they are given the chance.

“We are all partners in this country, and if the government invested in Jordanian engineers, we [could] start local investments in the energy sector and build projects that would benefit our economy and our youth,” he told The Jordan Times.

“We can safeguard our country from dependency and occupation by constructing a national project that would serve Jordan’s interest,” Z’ubi said.

In September of 2016, NEPCO signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, to purchase $10 billion worth of natural gas supplies. The government said the deal would save around JD700 million annually of Jordan’s energy bill.