Jordanians Takeover Streets To Protest Against Water-for-Energy Deal With Israel

Hundreds of Jordanians took to the street on Friday to protest against the water-for-energy agreement between Jordan and Israel. 

The protest held in downtown Amman called on the Jordanian government to scrap the deal with Israel and considered the agreement as a step towards the normalization of the apartheid state of Israel. 

The demonstrators, which was a mix of Islamists, leftists, tribal groups, and unions, called on the government to seek alternative solutions for the water crisis. Demonstrators also called for disannulling the 1994 Wadi Araba peace treaty. 

On Monday, Israel, Jordan and the UAE signed a declaration of intent for a water-for-energy deal in the presence of U.S. climate envoy John Kerry. 

The implementation of the declaration would see the construction of a solar power plant in Jordan for the generation of electricity for Israel while Jordan would receive 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water from Israel. 

The agreement is the largest-ever cooperation project between Jerusalem and Amman since their peace treaty of 1994; it is also the largest renewable energy project in the Middle East. 

Jordanian Spokesperson Omar Salamah for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said the deal was not “legally or technically” binding and the country would only continue with it if its water requirements were fulfilled. 

Demonstrators rejected the agreement on the premises of normalization of Israel’s apartheid actions against Palestinians. Opponents also warned the Ministry that the agreement would inevitably force the country to depend on Israel for its water crisis. 

“This deal is aimed at linking Jordan with the Zionist entity completely. It is not a trade deal, it is a normalization deal that is shameful and humiliating,” said Ali Abu Sukkar, a prominent Islamist opposition figure.

In its latest report, Human Rights Watch detailed Israel’s crime against humanity of apartheid and persecution of millions of Palestinians. 

The announcement of the water-for-electricity deal was met with protests across the country, which is home to 10 million citizens of Palestinian origin. 

According to the Global Water Index, Jordan is currently the second most water-poor country in the world. 

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