King Abdullah declines to renew 2 annexes of Jordan-Israel peace treaty

In a surprise announcement, Jordan’s King Abdullah notified Israel on Sunday that it will not renew two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty which his father King Hussein signed with Israel.

Under the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace agreement, the Naharayim (Baqura) area near the Kinneret known as the “Island of Peace”, and part of Zofar (al Ghamar), some 120 km north of Eilat, are under Jordanian sovereignty with Israel private land use rights, including unimpeded freedom of entry to, exit from and movement within the area. These areas are not subject to customs or immigration legislation.

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“Baqoura and Ghumar were at the top of our priorities,” King Abdullah tweeted. “Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura and Ghamar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians.”

Israel will negotiate an extension of the treaty with Jordan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

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“There is no doubt the agreement is an important asset,” Netanyahu said, adding the peace deals with Jordan and Egypt are “anchors of regional stability.”

King Abdullah has faced ongoing pressure from the Jordanian parliament not to renew the leases, and to return the territory to full Jordanian sovereignty. Eighty-seven lawmakers have also signed a petition on the matter.

Last Friday, Israel haters marched in Amman demanding that Jordan reclaim sovereignty over the territories in question, with some demanding Jordan cancel the entire peace treaty with Israel.