Jordan set to take land from Israeli farmers, denies Israel's request for extension

Jordan set to take land from Israeli farmers, denies Israel’s request for extension

Israel’s request for a six-month extension for Israeli farmers to finish up their crops was denied by the Jordanian government.

By World Israel News Staff

As of this Sunday, Israeli farmers will be officially banned from Jordanian land leased to them 25 years ago, announced Jordan Valley Council head Idan Greenbaum on Thursday.

Jordan’s King Abdullah took Israel by surprise last year by announcing that he had decided “to end Article 2 of Annex I (b) of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty.”

The section refers to Naharayim and Tzofar, two areas of land adjacent to Jordan that covers a total of about 1,000 acres.

Israel ceded the area to their Arab neighbor in the framework of the 1994 peace agreement, in which Jordan agreed to lease it back to Jewish farmers for a period of 25 years.

“Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura [Naharayim] and Ghamar [Tzofar] annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians,”  Jordan’s king said at the time.

After King Abdullah made his announcement, many political pundits felt that Israel would have strong leverage to negotiate a new deal, because the Jewish State supplies tens of millions of cubic meters of water to Jordan each year, and also because Israel allows Jordan to use their airspace.

During negotiations, Israel’s request for a six-month extension for Israeli farmers to finish up their crops was denied by the Jordanian government, reported Channel 13 News.

According to the report, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi offered money to Israel for the crops leftover in the fields after the lease expires on November 10.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political rivals took to Twitter to attack him for failing to negotiate a new lease.

“For months now, Jordan Valley officials have been asking Netanyahu to get involved, but what does he care about farmers and the disintegration of peace with Jordan? He is busy with prosecutions and political games,” Blue and White MK Ofer Shelah said.