Despite Gaza tensions, Jordan asks Israel to extend water deal by a year: Israeli broadcaster

Despite Gaza tensions, Jordan asks Israel to extend water deal by a year: Israeli broadcaster
Reeling under a water crisis, Jordan has reportedly asked Israel to extend a water deal, expected to expire soon, by another year.
2 min read
04 March, 2024
Jordan has long suffered from severe water shortages [Getty]

Jordan has asked Israel to consider extending a water-for-energy deal for another year, amid soaring tensions between the two countries over the Gaza war.

Israeli broadcaster Kan said the Israeli government would carry out consultations to see whether the deal, expected to expire at the end of May this year, would be extended.

"Israel has not yet responded positively to the request, in light of the existing tensions…due to the war in Gaza," reported Kan.

Israel’s energy ministry is reportedly considering not to extend the agreement over Amman’s repeated denunciation of Israel due to the war on Gaza.

In return for extending the deal, Israel had reportedly asked Jordan to tone down criticism of Israel and incitement against it from Jordanian officials.

"Israel also conveyed a message stressing the importance of restoring relations between the two countries to their previous state and returning the ambassadors of the two countries to Amman and Tel Aviv," Kan added.

As part of the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries, Israel was required to provide Jordan with 55 million cubic meters of water per year, for three cents per cubic meter. In 2010, the yearly allocation was increased by a further 10 million cubic meters at 40 cents per cubic meters.

Water shortages are a serious problem for Jordan and have been the root of much anger directed at the royal family and government for many years.

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In a July 2021 agreement - emerging from the 1994 peace deal - Jordan was supposed to 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 of desalinated water.

But in November 2023, the Jordanian foreign minister said his country would not ratify the agreement over what he said was Israel’s "barbarism" in Gaza.

Despite diplomatic ties, relations have dramatically worsened since the start of the Gaza offensive, in which Israel has killed over 30,500 people in around five months, mostly civilians.