Jordan’s King Abdullah announces ‘full sovereignty’ over lands leased by Israel

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Amman-Jordan’s King Abdullah announced ‘full sovereignty’ over lands leased by Israel on Sunday, ending a 25-year arrangement.

The two countries signed a deal in 1994, in which Jordan allowed Israeli farmers access to the territories of Ghumar in the north and Baqura in the south under a renewable 25-year arrangement.

In October last year, however, King Abdullah said his country had notified Israel that it wants them back.

Israelis were prevented from entering Jordanian border enclaves on Sunday after a deal allowing farmers to work the land there expired.

The lands have been privately owned by Israeli entities for decades, but the 1994 deal saw the kingdom retain sovereignty there.

Since the heady days of Israel’s second peace treaty with an Arab state – after Egypt – relations with Amman have been strained.

Just last month, Amman recalled its ambassador from Israel over the prolonged detention without trial in Israel of two Jordanians. The ambassador returned after the two were released.

The Associated Press

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