Jordan tells Israel to return lands leased under 1994 peace deal

Jordan tells Israel to return lands leased under 1994 peace deal

Jordan tells Israel to return lands leased under 1994 peace deal

Jordan's King Abdullah told Israel he has made a decision to not renew parts of their 1994 peace treaty.

"Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the (1994 Jordan-Israel) peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians", said the King in his tweet.

The King said: "We have informed Israel of an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding al-Baqura and al-Ghumar".

According to annex 1B in the agreement, after the end of the 25 years the agreement would be automatically renewed for an equal number of years unless one party informed the other of its desire to end it by a date no later than 25 October 2018.

Protests rocked the kingdom in recent days to demand the return of the two territories to Jordan's sovereignty with lawmakers calling on the government not to renew their lease.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan sign the Washington Agreement on the White House Lawn as U.S. President Bill Clinton watches.

The newspaper cited former Jordanian Prime Minister, Abdul Salam Majali, who said that Jordan may be prepared to buy back the land.

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Netanyahu, in public remarks, said Jordan wants to implement its option to end the lease, and Israel "will enter negotiations with it on the possibility of extending the current arrangement".

Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that Israel could use the deal that allows planes travelling between Europe and Jordan to fly over Israel as leverage in persuading Jordan to renew the lease.

Baqura is 6,000 dunums (600 hectares) and falls east of the Jordan River and is part of the Irbid district.

A political analyst in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Oraib al-Rantawi said: "The King saw the popular rejection against keeping this agreement with Israel, especially in the last few months where economic decline in the country has led to mass protests - and he wisely decided against it". Both are located on the border of Jordan and Israel. They have also been expanding economic ties in the previous year.

Under the 1994 peace treaty, Israel was allowed private land ownership rights and property interests in the two areas for 25 years.

Article 29 from the Wadi Araba peace treaty between Jordan and Israel states that resolving conflicts will be done through agreement between parties, and if that fails then it will be turned to arbitration. "Historically speaking, the relationship between Israel and Jordan has existed for many years, and, simply put, Jordan can not exist without Israel". The armistice after the 1948 war stated that the land was in Jordanian territory, and not what is now modern-day Israel.

More recently, relations have been strained over the status of the flashpoint al-Aqsa Mosque compound, referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem and in the aftermath of a shooting at the Israeli Embassy in Amman in which two Jordanian citizens were killed.

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