‘Jordanian King Abdullah II has ordered a review of his country’s multi-billion-dollar deal to import natural gas from the Israeli-occupied territories.
The London-based and Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, citing senior Jordanian political sources, reported that the king made the decision “in a technical report that examines Jordan’s interests from the continuation or the freezing of the agreement.”
Khaled Bakkar, the head of the finance committee in the Jordanian parliament, said the gas deal apart from being “blatant normalization” with the Israeli regime, is “economically weak” based on the feasibility studies.
He stressed that Jordan’s energy production surpassed the country’s needs, and the import of Israeli gas was only for the benefit of the Tel Aviv regime.
On September 26, 2016, Jordan’s National Electric Power Company signed a 10-billion-dollar deal with US-based Noble Energy and Israeli partners, which will tap the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel for the supply of approximately 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 300 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d), over a 15-year term. Production is expected to begin around 2019 or 2020.
On March 26, members of Jordan’s parliament called for the cancellation of the gas deal with Israel during a parliamentary session closed to the public.
House Speaker Atef Tarawneh stated that all sectors of the society and members of parliament utterly reject Jordanian electricity company agreement to buy Israeli natural gas.
Several legislators argued that the multi-billion-dollar deal violates Article 33, section two of the Jordanian constitution, which states: “Treaties and agreements which entail any expenditures to the Treasury of the State or affect the public or private rights of Jordanians shall not be valid unless approved by the parliament; and in no case shall the secret terms in a treaty or agreement be contrary to the overt terms.”’