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Jordan cancels energy deal with Israel over Gaza war

Jordan has decided not to sign an energy-for-water deal with Israel due to its war on Gaza. Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi cited the ongoing violence, stating that no agreement can be signed while Palestinians are being harmed. He also suggested the possibility of reconsidering the Jordanian-Israeli peace agreement, attributing the decision to Israel's actions destabilizing the region.

Agencies and A News MIDDLE EAST
Published November 17,2023

Jordan announced Thursday that it will not sign a deal with Israel to exchange solar energy for desalinated water in light of Israel's war against Hamas.

"The energy for water deal was supposed to have been done last month, but we're not going to sign it," Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel.

"We will not be able to continue the energy-for-water agreement because no Jordanian minister can sit next to an Israeli minister to sign an agreement while they are killing our brothers in Gaza," he added.

Regarding demands by Jordanians and in parliament to cancel the Jordanian-Israeli peace agreement, Al-Safadi said Jordan will not hesitate to do anything that would help the Palestinian people, adding "this agreement will now be a document covered in dust on one of the shelves."

"Israel is pushing the entire region into hell, and this war cannot continue," he said.

"We see the West Bank is on fire, and we see settlement terrorism and the northern front with Lebanon escalating...and what Israel is doing has created an environment of hatred amid which there cannot be normal, peaceful relations."

"We have a people that we respect. We have public opinion, and we have positions as a Jordanian state," he said.

"We signed the peace agreement in 1994 after the signing of the Oslo Accords as part of a collective Arab movement to reach a comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution.

"Comprehensive peace based on a two-state solution has not been achieved. On the contrary, we now see Israel reoccupying Gaza and disavowing all its obligations. As I said, in this atmosphere, the agreement will be a document gathering dust on the shelf for now," he added.

Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Israel signed an initial Declaration of Intent in November 2021 to explore the feasibility of the "energy-for-water" project.

Jordan decided to recall its ambassador to Israel in early November against the backdrop of Israel's war in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Safadi said then that "the return of the ambassador will be linked to Israel stopping its war on Gaza and the humanitarian catastrophe it is causing along with all its measures that deprive the Palestinians of their right to food, water and medicine and for a safe and stable life on their national soil."