Israelis to Jordan’s King Abdullah: Don’t take away lands farmed by Israel

The Israeli regional leader argued that Israeli farmers could work with Jordanian colleagues toward promoting bilateral “prosperity and progress in many fields.”

By World Israel News Staff 

A  leader from Israel’s Jordan Valley region is calling directly on Jordan’s King Abdullah to reach a new settlement that would allow Israeli farmers in the valley to continue cultivating their lands located in what is officially Jordanian territory, reports Israeli Army Radio.

An addendum to the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan stipulated that the areas, located near the border, would be leased to Israel for 25 years and that either country could decide not to extend the agreement with a year’s advance notice.

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in September that Israel would return the areas because the king had decided not to renew the leasing arrangement.

Steinitz indicated that Israeli efforts to secure continued access to the areas for Israeli farmers were unsuccessful.

Jordan had, in fact, announced last year that it would not renew the relevant clauses in the peace treaty, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, a pan-Arab daily newspaper based in London.

Abdullah tweeted: “Our decision to cancel the appendices is out of a desire to make decisions that will serve Jordan and the Jordanians.”

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“I appeal to you to meet on the Island of Peace and work to reach a new agreement,” wrote Jordan Valley Regional Council Head Idan Greenbaum in his request to the Jordanian monarch, according to the radio report, referring to a border area which is supposed to symbolize the peaceful relationship between the one-time enemies.

In 1967, Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, bowed to pressure from other Arab states and joined in amassing forces along its border with the Jewish State. The result was the Israeli reunification of Jerusalem and the capture of Judea and Samaria from Jordanian occupation.

The peace treaty was signed on October 26, 1994, meaning that the expiration of the 25-year leasing arrangement regarding the agricultural lands is imminent.

In trying to sway the king, the Israeli regional leader argued that by maintaining control over the lands, the Israeli farmers could work with Jordanian colleagues toward promoting bilateral “prosperity and progress in many fields.”

Greenbaum maintained that by agreeing to extend the lease, Abdullah would be acting in a way which “befits good neighbors who respect and appreciate each other.”