Jordanian-Israeli water-for-power project harms Palestinian issue, say Palestinian analysts
Several Palestinian analysts have said to The New Arab that the recent Israel-Jordan memorandum of understanding for a water-for-power project will harm the Palestinian issue, mainly amid the significant increase in Israel's aggression in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday, Israel and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding for a water-for-power project during the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, currently held in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh.
The MOU sought to accelerate the implementation of a project involving water in exchange for electricity that was agreed upon a year ago.
Speaking to TNA on Thursday, the analysts said in separate remarks that the project came under the US-Israeli plan to expand normalised relations between Israel and the Arab countries.
For his part, Gaza-based political analyst Hussam al-Dajani said that "any agreement signed between the Arab countries and Israel without ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would harm the Palestinian cause."
"There is no doubt that the Jordanian people will also be affected by this agreement because Israel is striving to impose its colonial ideology on all Arab peoples," he added.
"Moreover," he elaborated, "I think that the Jordanian people will not accept the passage of such an agreement, which will increase the clashes between the Jordanian government and the people (...) this is what Israel wants to achieve, to create chaos in the Arab countries so that they have the opportunity to spread more 'peace' in the Middle East."
Similarly, Suleiman Bisharat, a Ramallah-based political analyst, said that the agreement would harm the Palestinian cause because it gives Israel more opportunity to carry out its provocative operations in the mosque, without even (Jordan) having any role in criticising it.
"Unfortunately, the Jordanian government thinks that strengthening the relationship with Israel through the Water and Electricity Agreement may enhance its regional role and political presence in the Middle East, but that is not true," he said.
Bisharat further noted that Jordan had had a good relationship with Israel since the signing of the Wadi Araba agreement, regardless of any tensions that have arisen at certain moments.
"We know very well that the signing of the agreement came as a result of the American pressure that it has always exerted on Jordan, whether directly or indirectly, to calm the situation in the Middle East in general," he said.
Bisharat also opined that Jordan was 'afraid' of rejecting such an agreement because it may impact US aid to the country.
Based on the MOU, the parties commit to expediting the various stages of the project as Jordan will build 600 megawatts of solar power capacity that would be exported to Israel. In return, Israel would provide water-scarce Jordan with 200 million cubic meters (mcm) of desalinated water.
The project will be funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which became the first Gulf state in 2020 to normalise relations with Israel and has been a partner in the project, with the US brokering the agreement.
So far, none of the Palestinian officials reacted to the deal between Jordan and Israel.