Jordan parliament passes draft law to ban gas imports from Israel




  • In Business
  • 2020-01-19 15:51:08Z
  • By Reuters
Jordan parliament passes draft law to ban gas imports from Israel
Jordan parliament passes draft law to ban gas imports from Israel  

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan's parliament on Sunday approved a draft law to ban imports of Israeli gas to the country just days after they started under a multibillion-dollar deal struck in 2016 which is opposed by much of the population.

The motion was passed unanimously by Jordan's 130 lawmakers and will be referred to the cabinet to be made law, although legal hurdles may prevent it coming into force.

The government has previously said it was a deal between companies rather than a political matter.

The $10 billion supply deal was originally struck between Jordan's state-owned utility and a U.S. Israeli consortium led by Texas-based Noble Energy, to provide gas to the country's power plants for electricity generation. [L8N2960Q9]

It was not referred to parliament for approval.

A source in the Israeli energy industry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "The gas agreement between Jordanian National Electric Power Company and American-based Noble Energy is being implemented from early January 2020, and no change is expected in that regard."

Although U.S. ally Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel the deal, which supplies Jordan for 15 years, has faced much popular opposition, with lawmakers arguing it makes the kingdom dependent on its neighbour for energy.

Many Jordanians are also the descendants of Palestinians who moved to the country after the creation of Israel in 1948, and view Israel as an erstwhile enemy that expelled their ancestors from their homes.

The Jordanian government said after the agreement was signed in 2016 that securing stable energy prices for the next decade could achieve annual savings of at least $500 million and help reduce a chronic budget deficit.

The import of Israeli gas has become a major focus in Jordan and sparked protests and calls for both the deal and the peace treaty to be scrapped.

"The gas of the enemy is an occupation. Down with the gas deal," placards carried by protesters said.

Jordan's ties with Israel have come under increasing strain since the gas deal was struck as Israel has moved to the right and since Donald Trump replaced Barack Obama as U.S. president.

Jordan's King Abdullah fears Israel's rejection of a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank could spark renewed violence and see a new generation of Palestinians relocating to Jordan.


(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Watchdog: Israel moves ahead with hundreds of settler homes
Watchdog: Israel moves ahead with hundreds of settler homes
  • World
  • 2020-02-27 17:17:21Z

Israel is moving forward on plans to build more than 1,700 homes for settlers in the West Bank, the settlement watchdog Peace Now said Thursday. Peace Now said the housing was spread over 10 settlements, some deep inside the West Bank in areas the Palestinians want for a future state. The housing approvals come days ahead of national elections in Israel, the third straight vote in less than a year after the previous two ended inconclusively.

Korean Air flight attendant with coronavirus reportedly serviced 400-seat aircraft that flew between South Korea and US twice - here
Korean Air flight attendant with coronavirus reportedly serviced 400-seat aircraft that flew between South Korea and US twice - here's the list of the known routes she flew

The employee returned to Seoul and reportedly worked flights to the US after a flight to Israel where over 30 cases of the virus were reported.

Israel is the first country to warn its citizens not to travel abroad over coronavirus fears
Israel is the first country to warn its citizens not to travel abroad over coronavirus fears

Israel on Wednesday became the first country to officially warn its citizens to avoid any international travel amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.Several airlines have canceled flights to China, where the respiratory virus originated, and governments have issued warnings about travel to certain countries, but no country has actively urged their citizens avoid traveling abroad at large until now. "If you don't genuinely have to fly - don't do so," Israel's health ministry said in a statement.Although the majority of cases remain in China, the virus has spread to several other countries. In response to criticism that the country was stoking panic and could cause both...

Israel
Israel's Netanyahu pulls his punches after Sanders calls him a racist

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday Bernie Sanders was wrong to call him a racist during a debate among contenders for the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination, but shied away from attacking the senator in return. "I am not intervening in the U.S. election," Netanyahu replied when asked on Israeli Army Radio about what an interviewer termed Sanders' personal attack on him at Tuesday's event in Charleston, South Carolina. Sanders, who has been critical of the right-wing leader's policy toward Palestinians, described Netanyahu as "a reactionary racist who is now running" Israel.

Bernie Sanders Boycotts Pro-Israel Americans
Bernie Sanders Boycotts Pro-Israel Americans
  • World
  • 2020-02-26 16:14:04Z

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- With Bernie Sanders emerging as the front-runner to win his party's nomination, pro-Israel Americans must grapple with an uncomfortable question: Does the Democratic party still support the world's only Jewish state?  What raises the question is next week's annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Sanders announced this week that he would not be attending, saying on Twitter: "I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."At Tuesday night's debate, Sanders clarified that he was speaking about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I'm very proud of being...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business