Jordan’s king tours enclave along Israel border after end of lease deal

AMMAN- Jordan’s King Abdullah paid his first visit on Monday to an enclave fringing its northern border with Israel a day after the expiry of a 25-year special regime that allowed Israeli farmers access to the area, official sources said.

The king on Sunday declared an end of the arrangement, which many Jordanians saw as a humiliation that perpetuated what they regarded as an Israeli occupation of Jordanian territory.

Under the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, two territories straddling the border were recognized as under Jordanian sovereignty but with special provisions allowing Israeli farmers to work the land without visas.

But in 2018, Jordan said it did not want to renew the arrangement, in what was widely seen as a sign of increasingly strained bilateral relations.

Jordan is one of only two Arab states with a peace accord with Israel, and the neighbours have a long history of close security ties. But the treaty is unpopular in Jordan where there is strong support for Palestinians who seek the Israeli-occupied West Bank, bordering Jordan, for part of a future state.

 

Reuters

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